Updated 9:05 p.m. Tuesday
BOLINGBROOK — Carle Foundation Hospital has received permission from state regulators to expand and remodel its 30-year-old emergency department.
The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved the $18.5 million project Tuesday.
Carle plans to start construction this fall and complete it in 2014, Carle spokesman Sean Williams said.
Hospital officials say use of the emergency room, which serves as the area's Level 1 trauma center, has grown 25 percent between 2004 and 2011 and more space is needed.
Level 1 trauma centers serve the most injured and acutely ill patients in their regions.
The project will include nearly doubling the 16,700-square-foot emergency department with a 14,000-square-foot addition and adding 17 new acute-care beds for a total of 39.
Also included will be adding another trauma room and adding or replacing imaging equipment in a dedicated radiology suite that is more conveniently located for emergency room patients.
Construction will include adding a one-story structure north of the current emergency department and next to a new tower now under construction and remodeling some existing space, according to Carle.
Carle's emergency department served 65,000 patients last year, and its capacity subjected patients to extended waits in overflow areas, hospital officials said.
The emergency department is on track to receive 70,000 patients this year, and — if current trends continue — would serve 80,000 patients in 2016, Dr. Michael Swindle, chairman of Carle's emergency department, projected in August when the project was announced.