EMS concerns over Hal Greer construction zone addressed

EMS workers said the construction zone setup was causing them delays.
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 10:49 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - On Sept. 5, Jamie Wroten, a paramedic with Cabell County EMS, talked with WSAZ about how the changes to Hal Greer Boulevard were slowing them down.

The busy boulevard is reduced to one lane each direction for a construction project.

“It concerns us because we have somebody’s lives on our hands,” Wroten said. “There’s nowhere for the cars to go. There’s nowhere for us to go.”

At the last Huntington City Council meeting on Sept. 11, Mayor Steve Williams talked about those concerns.

“For those coming to the table late, they had six years to actually express their concerns and have a voice in the design,” Williams said. “If they’re coming now and asking for a change in the design, we’re not going to change the design, but we’re willing to have conversations to see how we might be able to help ease the concerns they have.”

According to a city spokesperson, the West Virginia Division of Highways responded by moving cones slightly from Washington Boulevard to the ER entrance at Cabell Huntington Hospital, giving drivers room to move out of ambulances’ way.

However, they say those cones will need to be moved back when the contractor is working on that particular section of the road.

Another concern EMS workers shared was new traffic signals here not being connected with their Opticom system, which allows them to change traffic signals.

The DOH’s response is several traffic lights with Opticoms had to be switched out temporarily during construction, and the end project will have all lights with that equipment, and they’re working to get those added as soon as possible.