A2 • HILLTOP PRESS • NOVEMBER 6, 2013
Road improvements to help manage traffic at new hospital By Kurt Backscheider firstname.lastname@example.org
GREEN TWP. — The infrastructure improvements along North Bend Road will soon be tested when the new Mercy Health – West Hospital opens. The 650,000-squarefeet hospital off of North
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Bend Road near Interstate 74 in Green Township will open to patients Sunday, Nov. 10. Lambing In anticipation of the hospital opening, Green Township and the Ohio Department of Transportation completed road projects this summer and fall to accommodate increased traffic and improve the flow of vehicles through the area. “I think it’s worked out quite well,” Green Township Public Services Director Joe Lambing said. “I think it’s a good de-
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sign.” The township project, which was completed ahead of schedule this summer, widened the section of North Bend Road in front of the hospital, between Boomer Road and Kleeman Road. North Bend now has two lanes in each direction, with designated turn lanes to Mercy Health Boulevard – the road leading to the hospital. Lambing said the project also included the addition of a traffic signal at North Bend Road and Mercy Health Boulevard, as well as a traffic signal and turn lanes at North Bend Road and Kleeman Road. “We made major improvements at the intersection of Kleeman and North Bend,” he said. The work the township did at Boomer Road and North Bend complements ODOT’s project, which involved reconfiguring the entrance ramp from North Bend to eastbound I-74, in front of St. Ignatius Church, by cre-
Crews on the eastbound ramp onto Interstate 74 at North Bend Road worked this summer to finish improvements to the entrance ramps.JENNIE KEY/THE COMMUNITY PRESS
ating a continuous lane for accessing the highway. The ODOT project also included improvements to the entrance ramp to eastbound I-74 from southbound North Bend Road, turning what used to be an “exit only” lane to I-74 into a through lane with an option to veer right and access the entrance ramp. ODOT also widened the intersection of North Bend Road and West Fork Road as part of its work, adding right-turn lanes at all four corners of the intersection.
Jim Kummer, president of the Monfort Heights/White Oak Community Association, said he lives on Boomer Road and frequently drives through the area near the new hospital. “I think the road improvements are excellent, from West Fork all the way to Kleeman,” he said. “I travel those roads quite a bit.” The community association provided input on the road improvements and Kummer said, while he can’t speak for everyone in the association, he thinks people are satis-
fied with the improvements. “I don’t see any reason why it won’t work out,” he said. Lambing agreed, saying the improvements were designed to increase safety for drivers and allow traffic to flow through the area with fewer backups. “It’s working perfectly,” he said. “I can’t foresee any issues with the designs.” The road work cost the township about $1.5 million, and the ODOT project cost about $1.3 million. Mercy Health – West Hospital in Green Township will open to patients Sunday, Nov. 10. Mercy Health leaders had a ribbon cutting Tuesday, Oct. 15, to celebrate the ceremonial grand opening of the hospital. KURT
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Mercy Continued from Page A1
Side. This day is about celebrating an amazing feat, one that manifests itself in the physical building filled with the best technology has to offer, the finest practitioners, providers and staff anywhere to be found.” Mike Stephens, Mercy Health’s west market leader and president, said the $240 million hospital will serve as the center of Mercy Health’s network of health care services throughout the area, and allow the health care group to offer services it does not have capabilities for now at its neighborhood hospitals in Westwood and Mount Airy. The new 250-bed facility, offering private patient rooms with family areas, will have comprehensive cardiovascular services, a comprehensive cancer center, a women’s health center, maternity care and a family birth center, all of which are completely new to the West Side, he said. It will also have an emergency department, an orthopaedics center and the latest surgical technologies, including robotic surgery. The hospital’s lower level will serve as the core laboratory for all of Mercy Health’s facilities in southwest Ohio. A five-story, 100,000square-feet medical office building was constructed next to the hospital as part of the project as well, Stephens said. “It’s really an exciting time for us, but also for the residents of the West Side,” Stephens said.
A look at the front entry and reception area inside the new Mercy Health – West Hospital. KURT BACKSCHEIDER/THE COMMUNITY PRESS
“Patients prefer to receive care in the communities in which they live. Bringing those comprehensive services close to home is really what Mercy is all about.” Green Township Trustee David Linnenberg said the hospital, which will employ about 1,200 people, will be a boon to the township economy and spur future economic development in the form of restaurants and professional offices. “Mercy Health – West Hospital is immediately the largest employer in Green Township and one of the largest on the West Side of Hamilton County,” he said. “The fact is Mercy Health will have a direct impact on our economy, while providing a comprehensive system of
care that is accessible for all residents of Cincinnati’s West Side. “We’re especially pleased that Mercy Health made the decision to chart its future course right here in Green Township,” Linnenberg said. Dr. William Beckmeyer, chief of staff at the new hospital, said doctors and nurses have been looking forward to the hospital opening. “It hardly seems possible that months have turned into years since the inception of this phenomenal plan. Absolutely amazing,” he said. “It’s also amazing how quickly we, as physicians, are going to have the privilege of providing the highest level of health care at this brand new facility. We’re all very, very excited for it.”