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Natchez Regional parking lot to be repaired

JAY SOWERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Work will begin soon to resurface the parking lots surrounding Natchez Regional Medical Center.
JAY SOWERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Work will begin soon to resurface the parking lots surrounding Natchez Regional Medical Center.

NATCHEZ —Natchez Regional Medical Center patients and visitors will soon no longer be dodging potholes when they drive through the parking lot.

Work is scheduled to begin Monday to repave the hospital’s parking lot and is expected to take approximately two months to complete, NRMC Director of Marketing and Public Relations Kay Ketchings said.

The work will be done in phases and will require parts of the lot to be temporarily closed off, Ketchings said. The total cost of the project is approximately $150,000.

Facilities Manager Ron Bequette said asphalt on the hill in the parking lot will be raised, making the incline or pitch significantly better than it is currently. He said, however, a slight incline in some places of the parking lot will be needed for drainage.

Jerry Spears, 72, attends cardiac rehabilitation three times a week at the hospital and said he is more than happy the parking lot is finally getting paved.

“The potholes … you have to dodge them and drive about 2 mph or you’ll get bounced through the ceiling,” he said.

Kimbrell’s Office Supply Branch Manager Scott Kimbrell delivers to the hospital and says the repaving is long overdue.

“It’s just rough out there and hard to get through there sometimes,” Kimbrell said. “I know it will be inconvenient for a while, but it will all be worth it.”

A shuttle service will be available to assist patients and visitors during times when the project requires the front entrance of the hospital to be closed, Ketchings said.

The shuttle, Ketchings said, will drop off those arriving for early procedures, as well as patients and visitors throughout the day and early evening, to the designated entrance. This entrance will be in the rear of the hospital, near the cardiac rehabilitation and outpatient physical, speech and occupational therapy departments.

Ketchings said she believes the repaved parking lot will enhance the look and convenience of the hospital.

“I think it’s going to create a whole new look to the outside,” she said. “When something is brand new, it just gives the appearance of making everything better.”

Ketchings said signs will be posted to inform patients and visitors of parking lot space closures.