Traffic disruptions are expected in downtown Akron this month as work begins on a $200 million expansion to the Akron Children’s Hospital campus.
Starting April 22, access to Locust Street from West Exchange Street will be limited to emergency traffic as construction starts on a temporary emergency department entrance, said Lin Gentile, the hospital’s vice president for professional and support services.
Locust Street eventually will be closed permanently between West Exchange Street and Buchtel Avenue and converted into the hospital’s new main front driveway, Gentile said.
The hospital’s current ER will remain open throughout construction of the new six-floor tower, which is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2015, Gentile said.
Hospital officials are encouraging parents and visitors to follow the street signs that will be placed to direct people around the campus.
“We’ve got a lot of temporary signage going up,” Gentile said. “Wherever they’re coming, whatever angle of campus they’re coming from, they’re going to be able to have good signage.”
Demolition work of buildings surrounding the campus is continuing this month in preparation for construction to begin this summer on the addition, which will connect to the existing hospital on the third floor.
The addition will house a new ER on the first floor that spans nearly two stories, an outpatient surgery center on the third floor and an expanded neonatal intensive-care unit on the sixth and seventh floors.
The fourth and fifth floors initially will be shelled while the hospital determines the best use for the space.
Construction also is under way on a 1,250-space parking garage across from the hospital’s campus on West Exchange Street.
The garage is on schedule to open in September.
Updates about traffic disruptions throughout the project will be available at www.akronchildrens.org/traffic.
Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-996-3902 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Powell on Twitter at twitter.com/abjcherylpowell.