Construction of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) in South Australia will be months behind schedule because of an unknown soil contamination issue.

A project of the SA Health Partnership consortium, which includes Hansen Yuncken, Leighton Contractors, Macquarie and Spotless, the $1.8 billion hospital is being built at the eastern end of North Terrace.

It was to be completed by April 2016, but that has now been pushed back to the end of 2016 because the site is taking longer than expected to be cleaned up.

Health Minister Jack Snelling has also said a further $176.6 million would be needed for the transition from the hospital’s current premises to the new site.

“We’ve had an independent review done of their construction to-date and that would indicate that delivery will probably be in the second half of 2016,” said Snelling.

“We are allowing 73 days for the transition from the old to the new hospital, meaning both hospitals may be operating for up to two and half months.

“This will give us the flexibility we need to deal with any eventuality including us taking possession of the hospital in late winter or early spring.”

Opposition spokesperson for health Stephen Wade has said the notification is no surprise, saying that it is “an open secret in South Australia for months that the new Royal Adelaide Hospital would not be delivered on time.”

The new RAH was announced 10 years ago, and is hailed as Australia’s most advanced hospital. It is designed by Silver Thomas Hanley (STH) in joint venture with DesignInc (STHDI) to be a flexible, patient-focused hospital with 700 single beds and the capacity to admit over 80,000 patients a year.

Based around a “journey to health”, clinical care will be brought to patients in their own individual bedrooms, which are designed as healing environments incorporating an emphasis on privacy and passive surveillance. 

The hospital's architectural and functional design has been completed, and plans for the project's transition phase are now in progress. 

Images: STH