Infrastructure improvements underway at Atlantic General Hospital
BERLIN, Md. – Improvements are underway at Atlantic General Hospital. Construction crews are working to revamp roads and a helipad. The hospital says emergency room visits are down by 50% from last year because of COVID-19, which helps. “It works out very well right now because of the fact that with the COVID problem, we have a no visitor policy. So we have a lot less traffic on the road,” said hospital CEO and president Michael Franklin.
Tuesday, crews could be seen directing traffic along Healthway Drive. Franklin tells 47ABC that the road and helipad have been needing repairs for a while. He says with reduced traffic on the campus, now was the best time to work on the project. “This COVID problem that we’re having has made it easier for us to be able to manage this for us, because there are less ambulances there’s less traffic and less people. So it can be it can be done more easily and less disruptive,” said Franklin.
Atlantic General Hospital says potholes and a worn down helipad were taking their toll on patients’ and staff’s ability to get around campus. Hospital officials say the work on Healthway Drive and the helipad is costing about $150,000. Patients needing to be air-lifted while the helipad is closed are being taken to Ocean City Municipal Airport by a private ambulance company. The hospital tells 47ABC that the project should be complete by the end of the week, depending on weather.
The State Highway Administration is also working on improving the hospital. Crews are adding a turning lane on the corner of routes 113 and 346. The SHA says this will help drivers get in and out of the hospital campus more easily. “We have to add asphalt a little bit on the west side as well. Then we’re going to repave everything and re-stripe so they can see the new lane in there when it’s all done,” said SHA spokesman Bob Rager.
SHA officials say their work should be complete by mid May. Rager says that the hospital and patients will only benefit from the improvements once the projects are complete. “We’ve heard the saying that good things come in small packages. This is a small project, but it’s going to have a really, really big benefit to the hospital and the medical community around here,” said Rager.