Reclaiming the Land For A Healthier Community
Genesis Health System is building Genesis Medical Park, Moline on a property of approximately 23 acres, which was a grassy open area for many years. But before that, part of the property used to be a landfill, and according to Mike Harnung, Environmental Scientist at Missman, every precaution is being taken to make sure the construction project meets all health, safety, and environmental standards. Genesis Medical Park, Moline will be located on 41st Street near the intersection with 26th Avenue.
“The land was an active landfill from about the 1940s to 1960s,” said Harnung. “The trash was covered with soil and for decades, was an open green area, with residences on the outskirts. Following an environmental assessment in the late 1990s, the site was cleared for development by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2000.”
The site is an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency remediation site that has obtained a No Further Remediation (NFR) letter. “The NFR letter means we have done our due diligence,” Harnung said. “There is no risk to human health or the environment, and no pathways to any potential exposure. To achieve this, the trash must be covered by a soil cap, a minimum of three feet thick, or some other impervious barrier, like the concrete of a parking lot.”
In addition, Harnung noted that there is a city ordinance which states that no potable (drinkable) water can be pulled from that site, or from within Moline city limits. “Basically, steps have been taken to ensure that humans and wildlife are not exposed to the trash,” he said.
The new medical park will include a 52,000-square-foot medical office featuring physicians, convenient care, wellness services, a lab, pharmacy, home medical equipment, and radiology.
For the new construction in progress, Missman is serving in multiple roles. Missman is the project’s civil and structural engineer, and is providing environmental survey work and construction oversight. The engineering firm is also overseeing the appropriate handling and disposal of any trash encountered during construction. The general contractor for the project is Estes Construction.
“We are making sure no trash is located in the structural footprint of the proposed medical office,” Harnung said. “The footings have been poured for the building and work is starting on the structural steel. Also, various underground utilities are completed.”
According to Harnung, Missman also ensures that the proper precautions are observed in dealing with the contents of the landfill. Whenever the Missman team has encountered trash during construction, they dispose of it in a safe, appropriate manner. “The construction workers all observe construction jobsite safety as well,” Harnung said. “They use gloves and Missman performs air monitoring for volatile gases. Any trash that they find is placed in plastic-lined, roll-off dropboxes.” He added that the trash is then analyzed and taken to a landfill once the analysis has been approved.
Harnung added that the Missman team is proud to be working on this important project. “Basically, Genesis is reclaiming this land so it can once again serve a meaningful purpose for the community,” he said.