Cleveland, OH,
12:01 PM

A solid foundation for MetroHealth's new hospital

Like almost everything in life, a good foundation is crucial.

Our new hospital will be no exception.

Before anyone sees any steel rising into the sky, our construction team will be digging deep underground to construct a strong, sturdy base for our 11-floor hospital. In fact, more than half of the 55,000 tons of concrete that will be poured for the project will be underground and never seen by human eyes.

(If you think 55,000 tons of concrete sounds like a lot, you’re right. It's more than twice the weight of the Statue of Liberty and its base, which are "only" 27,100 tons.)

A strong foundation must not only carry the static weight of the building, it must also keep it stable during dynamic events such as wind storms and earthquakes. A simple concrete-slab foundation like the one that holds up your house is not nearly enough.

Instead, our crews will be digging cylindrical holes, 3 feet to 6½ feet in diameter, down to the bedrock (105 to 125 feet below the ground). The holes will be filled with reinforced concrete. The resulting support, called a caisson, will transfer the weight of the building directly to the strong prehistoric rock below.

This is nothing new for our team: The new staff parking garage is sitting on caissons right now.

The construction of the new hospital’s caissons will take months to complete, because the building will need 229 of them!

So after we break ground and excavate the hole for the foundation, it might seem like not much is going on at the site. But in truth, the crew will be quietly pouring thousands of tons of concrete and crafting an incredibly strong and durable foundation for our new hospital.  

About the MetroHealth System

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through five hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers. Each day, our nearly 9,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable healthcare — through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services — that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers. For more information, visit