Bloomington, Indiana – This season, several infrastructure development programs are underway in Bloomington to advance neighborhood priorities such as protection, sustainability, mobility, equity, economic vitality, and quality of life. The City will provide regular public updates on a range of these improvements as they progress.

West First Street Reconstruction Project 

As part of the first phase of the Bloomington Hospital Re-Use Project to redevelop the existing IU Health Hospital site, West First Street will be reconstructed and improved from South Fairview Street to South College Avenue.  The project will replace water, storm sewer, and sanitary sewer infrastructure; add tree plots separating the road from sidewalks on both sides of the street and traffic calming or other enhancements consistent with its designation in Bloomington Transportation Plan as a Neighborhood Greenway route; and is expected to include one travel lane in each direction.

The City is hosting a virtual public meeting on Thursday, May 13, from 6 to 7 p.m. to discuss the proposed design of the First Street Reconstruction project.  At the meeting, exhibits of the proposed design will be discussed and there will be time to provide feedback and ask questions. Information about joining the Zoom meeting follows:

17th and Dunn Signal Improvement Project

A project to replace and upgrade the traffic signal equipment and make geometric improvements to the intersection of 17th Street and Dunn Street will require the conversion of the intersection to four-way stop on Monday, May 17.  This conversion will involve the deactivation of the signal in order to allow utility relocation and the installation of temporary stop signs until the intersection is closed for construction around June 3. This project will also include the placement of signal hardware, curbing, sidewalk, asphalt, pavement markings, landscaping, and stormwater infrastructure.

North Fee Lane Steam Line Installation 

North Fee Lane will be closed from 13th Street to 17th Street next week to allow for the installation of a steam line serving housing units on the north side of the Indiana University campus.  The IU project will require a full closure of the street from May 17 through 21, during which one sidewalk will remain open.  From May 21 through July 31, the northbound lane of Fee and the sidewalk on the east side of the street will be closed, with the sidewalk on the west side of North Fee Lane remaining open.  A detour utilizing East 10th Street, North Woodlawn Avenue, and East 17th Street will be in place.  The closure was approved by the Board of Public Works on May 11.

Jackson Creek Trail Phase II Project

Construction of the northern section of the Jackson Creek Trail Phase II has begun on South High Street near East Arden Drive.  This project adds 1.5 miles to the trail and multiuse path and will increase safety and provide connections for bicyclists and pedestrians to Jackson Creek Middle School, Sherwood Oaks Park, Childs Elementary School, Southeast Park, and the Goat Farm property.  Construction will proceed south down South High Street to East Rock Creek Drive, where it will resume after Memorial Day in order to minimize disruptions to Childs School while still in session.  Work on this section of the trail is scheduled for completion by the start of the school year.

Construction of the northern section of the trail, extending from South East Park to the High-Winslow-Rogers roundabout, is scheduled for completion by November 2021.  The trail’s southern section, extending along Jackson Creek from Sare and Rhorer Roads to the existing trail at Southern Oaks Park, is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2022.

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 South College Avenue, where it reappears as Clear Creek.

The project has required the closure of East Smith Avenue from South Lincoln to South Washington Streets for approximately two months in order to remove the existing box culvert.  The contractor is coordinating with the neighboring residents, businesses, and nonprofits to diminish impacts.  Through June 10, South Washington Street is dedicated to Project School pickup traffic between East Third Street and East Smith Avenue from 3 to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with flaggers directing traffic during that hour.

Installation of conduits for electric cable was completed across Grant Street last week, allowing the street to reopen.  Work on the water main and storm drains continues on East Third Street this week, requiring lane closures between South Grant and South Lincoln Streets for the next two weeks.

The playground and five trees at The Waldron, Hill and Buskirk Park (Third Street Park) were removed to accommodate the culvert replacement, and the City’s Urban Forester continues to monitor the health of trees in the park.  A site plan for the restoration of the playground, amenities, and trees is currently in development, with opportunities for engagement in the design process for Kid City summer day camp participants and Project School students, two populations that use the park regularly.  After completion, the site plan will be presented to CBU and the Parks and Recreation department for review and approval, and a request for playground equipment bids will be issued.

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.