The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, has assembled and deployed field assessment teams tasked with evaluating existing facilities in Michigan for the possible conversion into alternate care facilities as part of the nationwide federal, state and local effort to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under this planning mission assignment from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), personnel from FEMA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and state and local emergency management and medical personnel are conducting initial and in-depth site assessments at multiple locations as determined by state leadership. The teams are providing assessments to the State of Michigan that deliver information on the possible conversion of existing buildings into alternate care facilities in southeast Michigan.
“The State of Michigan has asked FEMA for assistance in responding to a critical shortage in hospital space due to the spread of this virus," said Lt. Col. Gregory Turner, Detroit District commander. "We're going to bring the full resources of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and our engineering expertise to bear against this problem. That's our mission: to engineer solutions to the nation's toughest challenges."
To date, the USACE, Detroit District, has performed seven assessments on locations nominated by the State, including a 725,000 sq. ft. convention center (TCF Center), the Detroit Pistons Performance Center and two dormitories at Wayne State University. USACE is performing similar assessments in states throughout the nation.
USACE has received 6 FEMA Mission Assignments (MAs) totaling approximately $361 million, and USACE has more than 15,500 personnel engaged, across the enterprise, in its response effort across the nation. Two FEMA MAs ($5.6 million) are for National Activation and to provide initial planning and engineering support nationwide to address possible medical facility shortages in the U.S. due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Information pertaining to specifications and implementation of the alternate care sites is available on the web at https://www.usace.army.mil/Coronavirus/Alternate-Care-Sites/.
Contractors who may be interested in working on these sites throughout Michigan, should the need arise, are asked to review the memo from the USACE director of Contracting on what they can do to help at https://www.lre.usace.army.mil/Coronavirus/.
During emergencies, USACE is the federal government's lead public works and engineering support agency, and given its extensive work in building medical facilities for its military stakeholders is uniquely qualified to tackle this engineering challenge.