Geisinger Health System (GHS) contacted Larson Design Group (LDG) to complete a multi-disciplined project to replace an existing underground tunnel connecting the main hospital building to ancillary buildings, and also replace an elevator that dates back to 1915, which services the hospital morgue. The deteriorating tunnel, originally constructed in the 1930s, serves as the main path of travel for hospital waste and deceased patients.
The project had numerous challenges, such as the tunnel’s location under a main thoroughfare through the hospital, under the main fire water supply and high voltage lines, and its adjacency to existing buildings and utility tunnels. Requirements for phased construction due to the inability to completely close the area to traffic were also an issue. The design incorporated as much of the existing construction as possible, and construction methods were chosen to minimize construction time. The project had to meet local, state, and federal building and health-related codes.