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.
Hidden River Pathway Project
The 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.
Last week saw the completion of the concrete pour for the new “cast-in-place” box culvert on South Washington Street between Smith Avenue and East Second Street, allowing for the restoration of the roadway to take place this week. Depending on the weather, Washington is scheduled to be closed for paving this Thursday, April 15 and should reopen to traffic by the end of the day. Crews will continue to complete a sidewalk and curb on the east side of the street. The installation of a large siphon structure last week has also allowed for the reopening of the intersection of Smith and Lincoln. Installation of conduits for cable continues until early Wednesday morning, April 14 on East Third Street, where traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction for the duration of the installation.
On Thursday, April 15, waterline installation on East Third Street between Grant and Lincoln will require the closure of the southernmost eastbound lane of East Third. Also on Thursday, excavation in the alley on the east side of Grant Street between Long Fei Restaurant and Trinity Church will require 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.
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.
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.
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 half 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.
Rev. Ernest D. Butler Park Playground Replacement
The playground at the Reverend Ernest D. Butler Park is among those the Parks and Recreation Department has scheduled for replacement this year in its regular cycle of improvements. Staff is currently installing support posts for a new playground structure to replace equipment that was removed earlier this year. Together with a new climber/spinner feature, benches, and concrete curbing around the perimeter, the new playground is being financed in part with grant funds. The existing swing set remains open for use, and will be repainted.
Trades District Garage Opening
The Trades District Garage supporting the city’s newest employment hub and cultural destination will open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, April 17 at 10 a.m. Members of the public are invited to attend the event which will feature remarks by the mayor and other local leaders, tours of the new facility, and an opportunity to contribute to the public artwork commissioned for it. The ribbon-cutting will be held in keeping with current public health protocols for physical distancing and face covering. Event parking is available in the gravel lot at West Tenth and Rogers Street, with parking in the facility available after the ceremony. Located between the Showers City Hall building and the B-Line Trail, the 350-space, sustainability-certified garage featuring commercial/retail space facing the B-Line will complement the Trades District’s burgeoning business activity at The Mill, the Kiln (future office and commercial space) and additional sites in development. More information about monthly or annual parking at the Trades District Garage is available online at Monthly Garage Parking Permits and Parking Garage Information | City of Bloomington, Indiana. Inquiries about leasing commercial space in the Trades garage may be made through the City’s Economic and Sustainable Development department.
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