AKRON, OH (WOIO) - Akron Children's Hospital has closed a portion of its parking deck to patients, visitors, and hospital staff after an engineering report found "serious structural concerns."
"We regret the inconvenience this causes everyone beginning this morning, whether it is for a doctor's appointment or a lab/radiology test, as well as our nearly 300 employees who park in the Locust Parking Deck," said Akron Children's President Grace Wakulchik. "But, we approached this decision just as we would approach a medical issue – we felt the need to act upon this information as quickly as possible to avoid harm."
Akron Children's Hospital says there were plans to replace the Locust Parking Deck in the next few years, but recent observation of falling concrete led to a structural review by the GPD Group, the hospital said in a press announcement released Wednesday.
As an alternatives, Akron Children's Hospital says:
- Patient families of the hospital and private medical practices located in the Locust Professional Building who currently park in the Locust Parking Deck (P3) should park in the Bowery Parking Deck (P1), 199 West Bowery Street
- Patient families who normally park in the Bowery or the Exchange Parking Deck (P2), 156 West Exchange Street, should continue to park in those lots.
- Both the Bowery and Exchange Parking Decks are accessible to the main hospital by pedestrian bridges. A map showing the location of these decks is at www.akronchildrens.org/parking.
- Valet parking for patients will be expanded to meet patient needs.
The 46-year-old deck has 656 parking spaces.
The parking deck closure comes days after a bridge collapse in Florida, claiming the lives of at least six people.