The first stage of the long-awaited extension of the Orange hospital car park will be open by August.
Parliamentary secretary for Western NSW announced on-site on Monday the extra 151 spots would be provided at three locations at the hospital.
He said the first stage, of 83 spots behind the hospital would be open in August and the second stage of 55 spots along Forest Road would be built by November.
The remaining 13 spaces would be placed on Hospital Road by early next year.
He said the work had been delayed by heritage issues but they had now been overcome.
Mr Colless joined Orange mayor Reg Kidd in turning the first sod on Monday.
“It is a great moment for Orange,” he said.
“We’ve had some considerable hold-ups with heritage issues.”
Cr Kidd said the car park work plus roadworks at the front of the hospital and work on a new private medical complex opposite the hospital would create disruption in the precinct but the results would be worth it.
“There will be some inconveniences but you can come in from the other side of the hospital,” he said.
“We have a fantastic hospital second to none in regional NSW.”
However, he said he expected there would be a need for more parking within two years.
Member for Orange Phil Donato said the car parks were long overdue.
“There is not a week that goes by without people raising the issue of parking with me,” he said.
Western NSW Local Health District chief executive Scott McLachlan said the first 83 car parks would help people access oncology and ambulatory care services.