USACE receives FFEMA nod to build alternate care facility in Detroit

WCN Editorial Team 30 Mar 2020 NORTH AMERICA BUILDINGS

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has received a verbal mission assignment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to build a large alternate care facility in downtown Detroit, in response to nation’s fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.

As part of the construction, the first conversion in Michigan will take place at TCF Center in Detroit. The USACE plans to coordinate and plan its effort to adapt more than 250,000ft² of the convention facility into a medical care space.

Under the conversion, two separate floors will include nearly 900-bed spaces and stations for medical personnel. The floors will be segregated based on the severity of the illness.

USACE district engineer for Detroit District Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Turner said: “We are proud to work hand in hand with our partners at FEMA and the state of Michigan and leverage our engineering expertise to help save lives.”

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said: “We are proud to partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA and the TCF Center to expand capacity in Detroit. By mobilising quickly to construct a large alternate care facility in Detroit, we can help save lives.”

The USACE estimates that it will take between 24 and 36 hours to place a contract, at which point the TCF Center team will activate their personnel to begin construction activities and actual construction could begin shortly thereafter.

Till now, the USACE has received seven FEMA Mission Assignments (MAs) totalling nearly $880m. Two of FEMA Mas are for national activation and offer initial planning and engineering support across the nation in addressing possible medical facility shortages due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

USACE has also activated its Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) across 43 locations in their respective divisions and districts.

The federal agency also stated that it will continue with site visits across Michigan to assess and determine the necessary steps to convert existing buildings into alternate care facilities as per the state’s directions. Till now, USACE, Detroit District has performed 15 site visits across the state.

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Image: USACE engineers at work in Detroit, Michigan. (Credit: US Army Corps of Engineers.)

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