Brookwood Medical clears construction hurdle

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A judge says Brookwood Medical Center should be allowed to build Alabama's first freestanding emergency department near the intersection of U.S. 280 and Alabama 119.

An administrative law judge made the ruling Wednesday. The issue now goes before the state Certificate of Need board, which meets July 21 and which must approve the $19 million project.

In his ruling, Administrative Law Judge James Eldon Wilson wrote that northern Shelby County needs more emergency services. That's because residents often get stuck in traffic on U.S. 280 trying to reach Brookwood's main hospital.

Trinity Medical Center had tried to block Brookwood's plan. Trinity wants to move into the empty HealthSouth Corp. hospital on U.S. 280.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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