EUGENE, OR-The City of Eugene will expedite a study of six sites close to downtown in hope of convincing PeaceHealth that one is perfect for its new million-sf hospital. The move by the City Council this week is an attempt to keep the region’s largest health care provider from developing on land on the city’s northern outskirts.

The study, by city staff, will examine traffic, land use and other planning and cost issues related to construction of a hospital both in the downtown and on the north end. The sites they will look at are south and west of Sacred Heart Medical Center’s Hilyard Street campus and near PeaceHealth’s medical clinic on Willamette Street.

PeaceHealth earlier had planned to build the hospital on 38 acres it owns in north Eugene, but has been willing to discuss other possibilities after that generated a not-so-positive response. The council’s report is expected back before the council adjourns for a month-long summer break beginning in early August. PeaceHealth reportedly wants to make a final siting decision in September.

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