DETOUR: How patients and visitors can get to Wheeling Hospital during I-70 closures

Local News

WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – We’re used to traffic tie-ups in the Ohio Valley, especially when it comes to navigating the closures and detours of the ongoing I-70 project. 

The latest closure for the Fulton Bridge replacement poses some unique problems. 

The Eastbound lanes of I-70 will be closing from the 16th Street Exit to the Oglebay Exit, which could pose a problem for Wheeling Hospital. 

They say up until now the construction hasn’t been an issue, but the hospital knew this was coming and they have a plan. 

Our goal is to ensure staff and patients can safely access the hospital and anytime there’s construction. Especially on the main highway leading to the facility, there is concern of that being able to happen during an emergency situation. 

Heidi Porter, Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs, Wheeling Hospital 

The Ohio County Sheriff’s Office echoes these construction concerns. 

To get to the hospital you’ll have to go up 470, make the turnaround to go down into the Grove, get back onto the highway and then back on 70 to get to the hospital, which all hospital personnel are going to have to use that access also.”

Sheriff Tom Howard, Ohio County

Here are the detours the hospital advises patients and visitors to take:

Map courtesy of Wheeling Hospital

Wheeling Hospital has been working constantly with the help of state and local officials to come up with options for their emergency vehicles.

We are working on EMS access roads and working with EMS on education of what these access roads will be.

Heidi Porter, Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs, Wheeling Hospital 

Which could be a solution to one of the Sheriff’s biggest worries. 

Ambulance will have to fight through to get through other traffic that’s there. Yes, they have lights and sirens, but weaving in and out of traffic can be dangerous for everybody. Then you have the person in back trying to do things as cautiously as they can.

Sheriff Tom Howard, Ohio County

For about the next nine months until the highway opens again, take this advice. 

Anytime you seen an EMS vehicle with their lights flashing, obviously yield the right of way to EMS so they can safely transport patients to the hospital.

Heidi Porter, Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs, Wheeling Hospital 

For the healthcare workers trying to get to the hospital, the Sheriff has a message for you too. 

You can’t help anybody if you don’t get there, so slow down. Try to take the best route you can. 

Sheriff Tom Howard, Ohio County

Stay with 7News and WTRF.com for continued updates on the 

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