THE BRONX - Shorter wait times and better care are in store for some Montefiore Medical Center emergency room patients thanks to a major expansion.

Officials cut the ribbon Wednesday on the renovated Weiler Division Emergency Department and invited the public to tour the facility. The division is one of three at the hospital that handles emergency room cases.

Upgrades included doubling the size of the space to half the length of a football field, increasing specialty staff and adding state-of-the-art technology.

Hospital administrators believe the change was necessary to keep up with the demands of the community. Officials say approximately 60,000 patients visited the Weiler Division ER last year. They say the ER is the city's busiest and the fifth busiest in the United States.

Doctors say the expansion will allow them to better treat patients in less time. The ER officially opens next week.