Source: The News-Enterprise
TOPIC: Closure of Woodland Drive behind hospital
OUR VIEW: Change is part of community’s growth
Nearly three years after Hardin Memorial Hospital officials approached Elizabethtown City Council with a proposal to close part of Woodland Drive to meet the needs of an emergency department expansion, the road will get its new look next week.
For drivers who use Woodland Drive as a makeshift bypass around parts of Dixie Avenue, the change won’t be easy. Change of habits never are, but Woodland Drive for decades has served its purpose and now that purpose is changing.
As the $15 million ER expansion continues to take shape, motorists who have watched the physical changes will begin utilizing other routes to their destination.
The change becomes official Thursday. For more than a week, lighted sign boards have been alerting drivers to the impending changes.
A 200-foot section of Woodland Drive by the expansion area will close to traffic. Drivers who travel east on Cardinal Drive and previously turned left onto Woodland Drive near the hospital’s emergency department will use the new Hill Street connector that accesses Woodland Drive north of HMH’s main campus.
Drivers on North Dixie Avenue interested in accessing medical offices, businesses and residences along Woodland will be directed to Layman Lane. A four-way stop will be installed at the intersection of Woodland, Layman Lane and Hill Street.
The move to close part of Woodland Drive was met with mixed emotions. It took a while for Elizabethtown City Council to find a solution that met the hospital’s obvious needs and neighboring property owners’ concerns.
But having all of HMH’s facilities on one campus setting is ideal. The hospital long ago outgrew its footprint between Dixie and Woodland, which many old-timers still refer to as Old 31W.
These changes are a sign of progress for the hospital, which is one of the region’s largest employers as well as a vital provider of health services.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.
Additional information and maps showing the new traffic patterns are available at www.hmh.net/emergencydepartment.