Emergency access to Good Shepherd will continue through Route 22 project
Emergency access to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in the Lake Barrington area will continue through a Route 22 construction project as a result of an agreement between the Illinois Department of Transportation and two other parties, according to an announcement Friday.
Work to repair a damaged culvert under Route 22 is to begin Monday, Aug. 19, and last up to five weeks between Old Barrington Road and Harbor Drive. Route 22 is the thoroughfare leading to Good Shepherd, which is slightly west of Harbor.
Under the original plan, which drew concerns from Lake Barrington officials and others, Route 22 would have been completely closed between Harbor and Old Barrington. The worries about delays for ambulances and patients needing the emergency access led IDOT to delay the work from its initial start date in late July.
Through the deal agreed on by IDOT, state Sen. Dan McConchie of Hawthorn Woods and Deputy Gov. Christian Mitchell, crews will maintain one open lane between Old Barrington and Harbor to allow vehicles traveling from the east access to Good Shepherd in emergencies. There will be a 24-hour flagger on Route 22 to grant access to the emergency room.
In addition, there will be a series of signs on Route 22 with instructions for those seeking emergency care at Good Shepherd. Detour directions will be posted for all other drivers.
Lake Barrington Village President Kevin Richardson said his town's top priority has been ensuring public safety. He expressed appreciation to IDOT, McConchie and Mitchell for striking the agreement to accommodate emergencies through the state project.
"This agreement will ensure those in need of emergency care will maintain time-efficient access to the hospital," Richardson said.
Good Shepherd is a Level II trauma center that receives 600 to 700 ambulance visits monthly, officials said, along with handling an average 350 pediatric transfers annually. Officials said a total shutdown of Route 22 around the hospital could have lengthened emergency room trips by 15 to 20 minutes.
Lake Zurich Fire Department paramedics transport about 150 patients a month to Good Shepherd.
Fire Chief John Malcolm said the initial plan for a full closure to accommodate the culvert repairs would have caused delays getting to the hospital.
Engineers said the culvert between Harbor and Old Barrington dates to 1925 and is deteriorating, necessitating the repairs.