Hospital prepares patients for U.S. 31 construction closure

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CARMEL — Get ready to see plenty of orange signs and plenty of orange barrels in Hamilton County, with a big stretch of U.S. 31 closing for several months between 136th Street and Old Meridian, starting Friday night.

And it’s not just a hassle for drivers–some local hospitals will also be affected by the project.

St. Vincent Carmel Hospital and its Emergency Room are right on the north end of that closure, so hospital officials are working tirelessly to make sure their patients are prepared.

This week they’ve been placing phone calls to patients who have appointments at the facility.

“(Just) letting them know you can still access the hospitals and the physician practices,” said administrator Dan Lareau.

They’ve also put up warnings on their webpage, and on I-465 there are signs letting people know the hospitals are still accessible.

“We’ve worked very closely with the hospitals to make sure they can get their patients in and out, particularly the emergency vehicles,” said INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield.

“We cannot wait until it’s done,” said Lareau. “It will definitely make things a little tricky around us.”

Drivers like Dawn Deady are ready for a challenge.

“We’ll probably have to find alternate routes,” said Deady. “It’s going to take a lot of planning to know where you need to be and what time you need to get there because it’s going to take a lot of time.”

IU Health North lies just south of the closure area and Franciscan St. Francis also has a facility in the area.

If you live in the affected area or are a patient along US 31, contact your doctor for a detour before the planned closure on April 4. You can find more information on detours here.