Soon-to-be mom makes it through Glenwood detour

Staff Report

The Grand Avenue bridge detour, it turns out, is no match for the stork — at least with the help of emergency planning conceived weeks before the bridge closure.

Glenwood Police Chief Terry Wilson said that at about 8 a.m. Thursday, an expectant mother had just cleared rush hour traffic and was “about to have a baby in her truck” at the West Glenwood Kum and Go near the Exit 114 roundabout.

“This being one of our biggest emergency situations that we had wondered about and planned for, we were able to shut down everyplace that we needed to shut down traffic, get an ambulance to them, get the ambulance headlined right into Valley View Hospital, where I understand Mom delivered a beautiful new baby 20 minutes after walking in the door.”

Local law enforcement, emergency responders and traffic planners had weeks of discussions hammering out approaches that included installing nine extra traffic cameras and assigning a dedicated dispatcher to detour traffic and emergencies.

On the morning of Aug. 14, just hours after the bridge closed, the system worked to get a cardiac patient from New Castle smoothly to Valley View. Thursday’s birth went just as well.

“I thought it was a pretty good showing for the emergency planning and an excellent job by the Fire Department and hospital staff,” Wilson said. “Everyone had their act together, and it worked out exactly like it was supposed to.”