New parking ramp set to improve VA hospital's parking problem - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New parking ramp set to improve Iowa City VA hospital's parking problem

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Administrators at Iowa City's Veterans Affairs Hospital say their ongoing parking situation is about to improve.

An official groundbreaking ceremony for the new parking ramp was held on Saturday, and is expected to bring some parking relief for veterans and employees.

Timothy McMurry, Associate Director of Operations, says bad parking has made it tough for veterans to easily access the hospital to get the care they need.

"The parking ramp will bring in much needed relief for the Iowa City VA Healthcare System and parking, especially for our veterans so it can improve the access to the hospital," said McMurry.

Since 1952, the facility has been improving the health of the men and women who proudly served our nation.

The parking project has been in the works since 2011, and it brings more than 300 additional parking spaces to the facility.

"There's been a culture of veterans having to come in hours before their scheduled appointments, just to get the parking that's needed." said McMurry. "The parking in Iowa City has been ongoing for years, in fact generations of employees and veterans who have come here have suffered through it."

The first phase of the project will begin Tuesday.

The second phase will start April 1, temporarily cutting the facility's 554 parking spaces to 258.

Representative Dave Loebsack, (D) Iowa,  says the current parking at the hospital is unacceptable.

"Whatever can make this experience better for the veteran, that's what this is about," said Loebsack. "I want them to have access to the best medical facility possible because they deserve our respect."

Construction on the new parking ramp is scheduled to take 12 months.

The total cost for the project is $9.6 million.

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