7-Line Construction to Begin in May, Goat Farm Design Planning Underway, Hidden River Pathway Project Progresses with Culvert Replacement
Numerous infrastructure improvement projects are underway this season to advance community goals, including safety, sustainability, accessibility, equity, economic vitality, and quality of life in Bloomington. The City will provide regular public updates on a range of these improvements as they progress.
The 7-Line Multimodal Corridor
Construction is expected to start in May on the 7-Line, a Bicentennial Bond project that will provide a protected east-west bicycle lane and improved bus corridor along 7th Street to connect the B-Line, downtown, Indiana University campus, and neighborhoods on the city’s east and west sides. The project will enhance and expand the conventional bike lane that already exists along parts of 7th Street by adding physical separation between bicyclists and auto traffic to improve comfort, safety, and efficiency for all road users.
Extending from the B-Line Trail to Woodlawn Avenue, the first phase of the 7-Line, scheduled for completion by October 2021, will provide a direct route between downtown and campus, designed to increase ridership and improve access to nearby destinations. The 7-Line is projected to extend east of the IU campus and west of the B-Line in subsequent phases.
During construction, 7th Street will typically be open to westbound bicycle and motorist traffic only, with pedestrian traffic restricted to the sidewalk on the north side of the street. The City will share updates about changes to Bloomington Transit routes and schedules during construction. The City is coordinating with property owners and residents along the route to minimize impacts.
Community members are invited to attend a virtual public meeting on Thursday, April 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m to learn more about the upcoming construction of the 7-Line.
Information about joining the Zoom meeting follows:
Community members are invited to a public presentation on design options for the park south of the roundabout at South High Street and East Winslow Road known as the Goat Farm on Thursday, April 22 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Switchyard Park Pavilion. A donation from the Sherman and Meredith Rogers family to the Bloomington Park Foundation will fund the creation of a master plan and the installation of passive recreation amenities at the Goat Farm, which will be renamed Rogers Family Park in a dedication ceremony upon completion. Meeting attendees will have the opportunity to review the design plan options, ask questions of the design team, and make comments on the proposed designs. The design plans will also be posted online at bloomington.in.gov/parks/parks/goat-farm following the public meeting, with the opportunity to comment for a week after the meeting. The meeting is limited to 50 attendees, and will be held in keeping with current public health protocols for physical distancing and face covering. Registration for the meeting may be made here. The meeting will also be streamed live on the Parks Facebook page.
Hidden River Pathway Project
Hidden River Pathway Project is progressing with the replacement of the network of culverts that carry the Campus River (formerly the Jordan River) from Dunn Meadow on the Indiana University campus southwest under downtown Bloomington to 1st Street and College Avenue, where it reappears as Clear Creek.
South Washington Street was reopened to thru-traffic between Smith Avenue and East Second Street last Thursday, April 15 after the completion of the new “cast-in-place” box culvert and repaving of the roadway. Crews have progressed to excavating the next section of the culvert and pouring the new one. Excavation should be complete by Friday, April 23.
Water main installation on East Third Street between South Grant and South Lincoln Streets is continuing this week, requiring the closure of the southernmost eastbound lane of East Third until the end of next week. The intersection of Grant and Third was reopened to traffic over the weekend.
Excavation of the alley on the east side of Grant Street between Long Fei Restaurant and Trinity Church continues this week, requiring the closure of the alley for approximately three weeks. Excavation will also proceed across Grant Street, with work on half of the road at a time, allowing for it to remain open to traffic. At the same time, gas service installation is taking place on the northeast corner of 4th and Grant (with limited impacts to traffic) and electricity installation on the west side of Grant in the alley between Soma and The Venue, with anticipated completion by the end of April.
The playground and four trees at The Waldron, Hill and Buskirk Park (Third Street Park) were removed in February to accommodate the culvert replacement. A large beech tree at the eastern side of the park was also removed this month after the City’s Urban Forester determined that the tree, in decline for many years, would not survive the impacts of construction. The City’s Urban Forester continues to monitor the health of trees in the park. The playground and amenities will be restored upon completion of the project in that area, anticipated in late 2021. As the parking lot on the east side of the Allison-Jukebox Community Center is serving as a staging area for the project, public parking there is limited to a few spaces for the duration of the project.
Over the next two years, City of Bloomington Utilities (CBU) and its contractor, Milestone Contractors, LLP will be reconstructing 1,829 feet of culverts. In addition to stormwater improvements, some reconstruction of sanitary sewers and water main infrastructure will be simultaneously completed to support Bloomington’s vibrant downtown. More information, maps, and updates about the Hidden River Pathway Project are available at www.bloomington.in.gov/utilities/hidden-river.
Lower Cascades Streambank Stabilization and Trail Extension Project
The bicycle- and pedestrian-only trail through Lower Cascades Park has re-opened to non-motorized vehicles after the completion of tree removal related to an upcoming streambank stabilization and trail extension project scheduled to begin later this year. Since March 2020, this 0.6-mile segment of the road between the playground and the IMI quarry entrance has been closed to motorized vehicles as a pilot road conversion project. Originally approved by the Board of Public Works (BPW) through September 30, 2020, the pilot was extended by the BPW through June 30 of this year. Starting Saturday, April 24, CBU is scheduled to begin an unrelated utility project at the southern end of Lower Cascades Park that will require closing one lane of the converted road on the southern end of the park. The utility project is scheduled for completion before the streambank stabilization project begins.
More information about the pilot road conversion and opportunities to provide feedback about the project are available at https://bloomington.in.gov/parks/lower-cascades-road.
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