Bendigo is a step closer to having its first air ambulance helipad after member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan helped pour the first concrete footing on Friday.
Ms Allan and Bendigo Health chairman, Bob Cameron, visited the worksite as construction got under way for stage two of the $630 million Bendigo hospital project.
Upon completion, stage two will include a multi-storey car park with a helipad on top, a conference centre and retails spaces that will be joined to the new hospital by a two-storey air link bridge across Arnold Street, joining the precinct.
When the works are complete, Ms Allan said critically ill patients would be able to be transported to and from the hospital by helicopter directly without needing to be transported to and from the airfield as they are now.
Staff will also have rapid access to the emergency department, intensive care unit and operating theatres via a critical care lift.
The helipad will feature pilot activated lighting controls and will be 28 square metres in size.
The construction will use about 7200 cubic metres of concrete and 300 tonnes of steel, with 200 tonnes of steel on the roof and 100 tonnes of steel in the bridge.
The car park will feature 505 car spaces in total including 10 disabled car parks.
The 62 metre air link bridge will have one level dedicated to the emergency transport of patients to and from the helipad and one level for general access to and from the car park.
The bridge will arrive in four pieces and Arnold Street will need to be closed to allow installation.