Recently, the highest steel beam in a Rockford, Ill., construction project was signed by Mercyhealth  employees, physicians, administrators and community leaders, and placed on the tallest point of the structure that will soon support the largest project in Rockford’s history.

Mercyhealth plans to open the $505 million, 451,000-square-foot hospital and five-story, 81,500-square-foot medical center, in late 2018. The three-wing, six-story hospital, five- story medical center will offer 192 inpatient beds, expanded patient services and advanced technology.

The center also will offer a state-designated regional perinatal center, a level III neonatal intensive care unit, a pediatric unit (with roof garden on the pediatric unit), a pediatric intensive care unit, a high-risk maternity care, pediatric emergency services and a level I trauma center.

In addition there will be an adult sub-specialty hospital, including plastic and reconstructive surgery, brain and spine, endocrinology, orthopedics, pulmonology and heart services. Operating suites and surgical services will support a full range of inpatient and outpatient surgery, including minimally invasive surgery and image-guided surgery. A diagnostic center will offer lab and imaging services, and multi-disciplinary physician care clinics will serve adult and pediatric patients.

The next phase in the building process includes building the enclosure systems; beginning the brick masonry; installing the glass and glazing; roughing in the plumbing and electrical; beginning the roof system; and framing the interior walls.

For updates on the construction progress, go here .