Army Corps building new treatment areas at 3 N.J. hospitals as coronavirus surges

Posted Apr 16, 2020

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently awarded contracts for the construction of new treatment wings that will add over 300 beds at three New Jersey hospitals in hopes of easing the crush of new patients due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Corps’ Philadelphia office is spearheading the projects at East Orange General Hospital, in East Orange; Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, in Paramus; and St. Francis Medical Center, in Trenton, the Corps announced in a statement.

The organization assessed 22 facilities starting in late March, working with officials from the state Department of Health and the State Police, and studied turning existing spaces areas at hospitals and medical centers into alternate care facilities.

Starting last week, contracts were awarded and work started within days on the following projects:

- At East Orange General Hospital, an unused part of the hospital is being turned into a 250-bed wing. The work is being done by contractor, Cutting Edge Group, LLC.

- At Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, contractor Conti Federal Services, LLC is converting the center’s gymnasium into a 30-bed facility, and DynCorp International, LLC is constructing a 100-bed medical tent in a parking lot.

- In Trenton, contractor Sand Point Services, LLC is converting portions of St. Francis into a 37-bed facility.

“Hospital capacity everywhere is a major concern as the COVID-19 crisis rages on, and these additional beds will greatly benefit Mercer County and the region,” Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes said. “We thank the Army Corps, FEMA and the State of New Jersey for planning and coordinating this project.”

The Corps does the planning, engineering and management of the work after contracting the construction work to companies. The agency did not give project costs or the amount contracted to the companies.

The Army Corps of Engineers was also involved with the creation of four pop-up hospitals around the state in the past few weeks.

The coronavirus, and the disease it causes, COVID-19, has claimed the lives of 3,518 New Jerseyans and sickened over 75,000 people as of Thursday.

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