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 underway to replace 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. Over the next two years, City of Bloomington Utilities (CBU) and its contractor, Milestone Contractors, LLP will be reconstructing 1,829 feet of these 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.
This week, crews are forming the first section of the box culvert on South Washington Street between East Third Street and Smith Avenue and preparing to pour the connection to the existing culvert structure. At the same time, relocation of sanitary pipes and structures continues on South Lincoln Street. The eastern side of Lincoln will be closed for several weeks during installation. Traffic will continue to flow on the western side of the street.
On weekday afternoons, especially between 3 and 4 p.m., motorists are asked to avoid using South Washington Street between East Third Street and Smith Avenue. As school dismissal and pickup from The Project School can create traffic congestion during this time, motorists are asked to find an alternate route.
The playground at The Waldron, Hill and Buskirk Park (Third Street Park) has been removed to accommodate the culvert replacement. The City’s Urban Forester will monitor the health of trees in the park, as they are susceptible to construction impacts. CBU will replace the playground when the project in that area is completed in late 2021 or early 2022.
More information, maps, and updates about the Hidden River Pathway Project are available at www.bloomington.in.gov/utilities/hidden-river.
Jackson Creek Trail Phase II Project
Preliminary work has begun on the Jackson Creek Trail Phase II project, which will provide connections to Jackson Creek Middle School, Sherwood Oaks Park, Childs Elementary School, Southeast Park, and the Goat Farm property. Utility relocation work has begun, and tree removal to accommodate it will ensue later this month and into April. Most of the trees being removed are along the eastern side of High Street from the roundabout north to Arden Drive. Work will be timed so that improvements of the multiuse path along High Street adjacent to Childs Elementary School are completed in time for the start of the school year. The Jackson Creek Trail extension to Rhorer Road is expected to follow and wrap up in 2022. (The Engineering department has presented the trail plan to the City’s Tree Commission and urban forester for review and approval. Information about tree removal is available at https://bloomington.in.gov/engineering/projects/jctii-tree.)
Sare Road Multiuse Path and Intersection Improvements Project
Intersection improvements at the Sare Road-Moores Pike intersection and a new multiuse path on the west side of Sare Road from approximately Cathcart Street to Buttonwood Lane are progressing on schedule. Starting Monday, March 15 at 10 a.m. (weather permitting), utility work associated with installation of the new signal equipment will involve a brief closure of the Moores Pike side of the intersection in addition to restriction of traffic to one lane for a couple of non-peak hours on Moores Pike. Motorists are encouraged to utilize alternate routes during this time. More information is available at https://bloomington.in.gov/engineering/projects/sarepath.
Lower Cascades Streambank Stabilization and Trail Extension Project
On Monday, March 15, tree removal will begin in Lower Cascades Park in preparation for a significant project to stabilize the streambank to reduce erosion, construct a boardwalk to the Cascades waterfall and extend the Cascades Park Trail (Phase 5 of the project). Most of the 23 trees to be removed are located on the west side of the creek, so the trees that are cut down will be lifted across the creek with a crane. To protect public safety, the road through Lower Cascades will be closed to all users - pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists - Monday, March 15 and Tuesday, March 16. Completion of the tree removal is contingent on favorable weather those days. Before the streambank stabilization and Phase 5 of the Cascades Park Trail project’s estimated start in May, CBU is completing an unrelated utility project at the southern end of Lower Cascades Park through March and April. Bicyclists and pedestrians using the converted road should use caution in the area, as one half of the road on the southern end of the park will be closed to allow for construction traffic.
Since March 2020, Old State Road 37 through Lower Cascades Park has been converted to a bicycle- and pedestrian-only trail. A 0.6-mile segment of the road between the Lower Cascades Park playground and the IMI quarry entrance is closed to motorized vehicles during this pilot road conversion project. More information about the pilot conversion and opportunities to provide feedback about the project are available at https://bloomington.in.gov/parks/lower-cascades-road.
West 14th Street Sidewalk Project
Construction is currently underway to install a sidewalk along the north side of West 14th Street between North Madison Street and North Woodburn Avenue, providing pedestrian connectivity between College Ave and Madison St. Prioritized by the City Council Sidewalk Committee, the project is being funded through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in addition to City funds. Currently 14th St is operating as a one-way street (eastbound only) to provide space for construction activity, and some on-street parking in the project vicinity is being impacted by construction activity. More information is available at https://bloomington.in.gov/engineering/projects/14th-sidwalk.
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