INVERMERE — Upgrades to the Invermere and District Hospital helipad are set to begin this week, and a local firm will be behind the coming changes.
Interior Health is awarding the contract for the $300,000 job to Max Helmer Construction Ltd.
The helipad was closed in 2010, when an inspection by Transport Canada turned up several violations of the Canadian Aviation Regulations. The project is being funded with leftover cash from Invermere’s emergency department expansion project.
To bring the site back online, workers will relocate and enlarge the helipad to accommodate larger helicopters (to keep the site compatible with the STARS air rescue service, which uses large vehicles), add additional lights and install height restriction gates.
The project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2012. An opening date has not yet been announced, and will depend on talks between STARS and Transport Canada.
“Interior Health is pleased to be working with Invermere’s Max Helmer Construction on the heliport improvements.” said Interior Health board chair Norman Embree in a release. ”This is an important project to Interior Health, local residents and visitors to the Columbia Valley.”