Hospital project closes Delaware Avenue
Author: Steve Ferris
Date: May 29, 2008
Navigating and parking around Uniontown Hospital will be a little more complicated for about a month because of the closing of Delaware Avenue for the delivery of structural steel for the hospital's expansion project.
The street was closed Tuesday from Woodlawn Avenue to Easy Street and will remain closed through the end of June, hospital officials said Wednesday.
No parking will be permitted in the metered spaces on Delaware and Woodlawn avenues during that time. Those meters have been covered and "no parking" signs have been posted.
More than 600 tons of structural steel for the hospital's new wing - which will include a 56-room patient tower, new main entrance, new emergency department entrance and mechanical room - will be delivered next week.
The wing is being built where Thompson Avenue used to be, but the city agreed to vacate the street for the hospital's expansion project.
A 450-ton crane that will be set up on Delaware Avenue to set the steel in place is also due to arrive next week.
"The beginning of next week is going to be a little bit of a circus," said Don Record, the hospital's vice president for support services.
In addition to the temporary closing of Delaware Avenue, the entrance to the visitor and patient parking lot on Delaware Avenue has been temporarily moved to Woodlawn Avenue. Signs, flagmen and hospital police are being used to direct traffic.
Hospital officials said about five homes are in the closed part of Delaware Avenue. Those residents were notified about the road closing and they will have access to their homes, hospital officials said.
Margaret Liggins of Delaware Avenue said she wasn't informed about the road closing and neither was Fayette Area Coordinated Transportation, which she relies on to get around.
"They never notified anybody. They never told anyone," Liggins said.
Liggins said she called the FACT office on Tuesday after the bus she usually rides didn't travel down her street like it normally did, and FACT officials said they were not told about the road closing.
Liggins said she called the hospital and a representative she talked to believed FACT had been told about the road closing.
Liggins said she now has to cross Route 21 to catch the bus across the street from the hospital.
Hospital officials said FACT would be notified.
Traffic around the hospital always has been congested, Liggins said, but it has been much worse since the work at the hospital started.
Thompson Avenue used to be one of the primary entrances to the hospital, but a new entrance off Route 21 will be opened when the addition project is completed in 2010.
The new entrance, Easy Street and Berkeley Street will provide access to the hospital from Route 21 after the project is finished.
The state Department of Transportation is planning to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Route 21 and Easy Street and add lanes to both roads at the intersection. That work is supposed to be finished when the hospital project is complete.