A South Surrey senior is warning pedestrians of all ages to step carefully in front of Peace Arch Hospital, after she tripped on uneven asphalt outside of the White Rock facility’s main entrance.
“I was very, very lucky,” Valerie Gadeke told Peace Arch News last week. “I’ve bruised my knee really badly in a few places, and my elbow.
“The state that the road was left in… it’s absolutely disgraceful. I just stepped off the sidewalk and the surface changed. I went flying.”
Work connected to the hospital’s emergency-expansion project had been ongoing in the week’s prior to Gadeke’s fall on Saturday, May 5. On that morning, however, said Gadeke, there was no indication of anything amiss on Weatherby Street – no construction equipment sitting idle, and no signage advising caution.
Two days later, when Gadeke met Peace Arch News at the site just after noon, there was still no equipment or signage in sight, and significant tripping hazards were evident all along Weatherby Street. Within two hours of that meeting, however, bright-orange ‘uneven pavement’ signage was erected.
Fraser Health spokesperson Tasleem Juma told PAN Friday that resurfacing of part of the roadways in front of the hospital was being undertaken “as part of our work to expand the emergency department and improve patient care at Peace Arch Hospital.
“We’re sorry to hear that someone fell but happy to hear that she is okay,” Juma said by email, after hearing Gadeke hadn’t suffered serious injury.
Juma added that warning signage had been erected, but “we understand the signage may have been knocked down and some people may not have seen it, and we apologize for any concern or inconvenience this may have caused.”
“We are looking into how we can better secure the signage,” Juma said.
Gadeke, 71, told PAN she was surprised that more people hadn’t fallen.
Juma said the roadwork is scheduled to be completed by the end of this week.
Repairs to a pair of the hospital’s parking lots are also scheduled for this week, from Monday to Wednesday. That work is to take place in the early mornings and late evenings, according to a notice that was distributed to staff Thursday to advise of the impact to parking.
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