Final moves precede Clarkson shutdown in Englewood

The 3400 block of South Clarkson Street splits the Craig Hospital into two sections. Craig proposes an expansion project, including closing the block of Clarkson in order to make movements between the buildings safer and to unit the campus. Photo by Tom Munds
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Preparations get under way this week to let drivers know the 3400 block of South Clarkson Street will be closed to through traffic on Jan. 22.

Craig Hospital requested the closure so the ground can be leveled, connecting the east and west buildings as part of a planned $90 million remodeling and expansion project.

There were concerns and objections raised about the street closure in meetings and in the public hearing on the proposal but, late last year, the Englewood City Council approved the street closure request.

The plans for the street include a temporary traffic turnaround to be built on Clarkson south of the Craig bridges over the street. The turnaround is scheduled to be completed and construction safety fencing erected around the north end of Clarkson by mid-February.

Demolition for work on the north addition to the hospital is scheduled to begin about Feb. 18 and the remodeling and expansion project is scheduled to begin March 4.

Ladd Vostry, Englewood traffic engineer, said issues to be addressed before the closure include with placing signs in the area announcing the closure, rerouting the Art Shuttle and establishing routes for vehicles going to the Swedish Medical Center emergency room.

“Plans are to install visible message boards in the area, announcing the Jan. 22 closing of the 3400 block of South Clarkson,” he said. “City crews also plan to be installing the hospital zone signs, including establishing the 20 mile an hour speed limit along Hampden between Logan and Clarkson.”

Since a new route along Emerson for vehicles to get to the Swedish Medical Center emergency room have been established, the city has installed no-parking signs along Emerson Street between Hampden and Girard avenues.

Additional plans include eventual installation of electronic speed radar signs in the area plus rapid flashing lights at pedestrian crosswalks on the west side of the Hampden-Pennsylvania intersection, the east side of the Hampden-Pearl intersection and the mid-block crossing on Hampden west of Washington Street.

The city will also install traffic cameras to monitor the Hampden/Logan and the Hampden/Clarkson intersections.

The city and hospital representatives also are working on rerouting the Art Shuttle. The proposal is for the eastbound shuttle to go north on Logan, east on Girard where it will join the existing route at Clarkson and Girard.

Tentatively, the stop on Hampden between Pennsylvania and a Pearl will be moved to the southwest corner of /Girard and Pennsylvania. Also, the Clarkson stop will be moved to the southwest corner of Clarkson and Girard. Kahm said Craig Hospital will pay for moving the stops and printing new route maps. Also, there will be advanced notices of the changes will be posted on the shuttle buses and at the affected stops.

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