HONESDALE -- Wayne Memorial Hospital is getting a major makeover, and it means there are new rules for parking there.
Work has only just started on a massive expansion at the hospital in Honesdale, but the impacts are already plain to see.
Big areas are fenced off. Signs are everywhere, and considerably more people are crossing Route 6 between the hospital and a parking lot.
Inside the hospital, there are monitors set up giving patients and visitors the new rules for parking, and outside, a security station to help folks back and forth from their vehicles to the health care services they need.
"It will be inconvenient," said hospital official John Conte. "We've stationed security guards on the opposite sides of the street to assist patients, especially those who are handicapped and need wheelchair access."
Within the last year or so, WMH has expanded a parking lot across the street from the hospital adding 100 or so new spaces. Now with the new construction project underway for nearly two years, that takes away 100 spaces, so parking, for the time being, is pretty tight.
"It's a little inconvenient with the parking, but it's a necessary evil because they're doing the extension," Tom Hathaway of Hawley said.
The multi-million dollar project is expected to take nearly two years. In the meantime, everyone is getting used to parking a little farther away.
"Now since they have the nice security crossing guard, he crosses everybody," said Sara Aronica of Honesdale.
When the expansion is complete, Wayne Memorial will have 50 new private patient rooms and improvements to a large amount of what's already under the roof.
"It's all for the patient -- patient privacy, infection control, and the bottom line is it's all for the patient," said hospital employee Jennifer Zuby.
When the project is finished, the hospital will be one-third bigger than it is now, making this the biggest expansion in Wayne Memorial's history.
Work is expected to wrap up sometime in 2019.