(BLOOMINGTON) – The City continues to advance projects enhancing safety, transportation, economic vitality, and quality of life in Bloomington this spring. Improvements to city streets, parking facilities, and bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure are among the essential activities permitted to proceed under the current Stay-at-Home Order.
City employees are practicing and working with contractors to implement CDC protocols regarding physical distancing, hygiene, and disinfection of vehicles and equipment to protect workers engaged in these projects and prevent community transmission of COVID-19.
Trades District and Fourth Street Garages
The City’s two garage projects are proceeding at the Trades District and on Fourth Street. Excavation is nearing completion and foundations are being installed at the site where the garage serving the City’s new innovation district will be constructed, just south of West Tenth Street between the Showers City Hall building and the B-Line Trail. As construction of the garage proceeds, periodic road closures of Tenth Street can be expected, to allow for the delivery of materials and construction-related traffic. The Trades District Parking Garage will add more than 350 spaces to the inventory of parking spaces downtown upon completion in late 2020 or early 2021.
Its design approved by the City Plan Commission March 9, the Fourth Street Garage project is now being offered to prospective builders through a competitive bidding process. The first bid package (for foundation work) has been released and the second will be offered in mid-May. Construction activities are expected to begin in July, necessitating the closure of the westernmost lane of Walnut Street along the site. Once underway, the project to construct the 500-plus-vehicle facility should require 12 months to complete. The Fourth Street Garage and the Trades District Garage will be the first two garages in Indiana designed and built to achieve Parksmart-certification, based on compliance with guidelines that reduce environmental impact, increase energy efficiency and performance, and manage parking spaces efficiently.
Kirkwood Avenue Maintenance Project
Over the last four weeks, the Kirkwood Avenue Maintenance Project has progressed with the construction of pedestrian enhancements to Bloomington’s landmark boulevard. The project to replace deteriorating brick crosswalks at each intersection and install removable bollard barriers to restrict vehicular traffic during street fairs and festivals has seen the completion of a new north-south crosswalk on the west side of Indiana Avenue and four crosswalks at the intersection of Kirkwood and Grant. Both intersections have been reopened.
Curb and crosswalk replacement is currently underway at the intersections at Washington and at Dunn, which have been closed to traffic. While the intersection is closed, Dunn Street will temporarily function as a two-way street from Sixth Street to the closure at Kirkwood, and from Fourth Street to the closure to allow patrons and deliveries access to the businesses in the affected area. For the same reason, traffic on Washington Street is running in both directions from Fourth Street to Kirkwood until the intersection reopens May 5 (weather permitting).
For the duration of the project, traffic will be able to flow through the intersections not under construction. By design no two adjacent intersections will be closed simultaneously, to allow for access to businesses and residences in the area. In all, 18 curb ramps and 18 stamped concrete crosswalks at Indiana, Dunn, Grant, Lincoln, and Washington together with 18 bollards along Kirkwood are scheduled for installation by June 1. After milling and paving the entire length of Kirkwood, the project is expected to be complete by the end of July. More information is available here.
Lower Cascades Pilot Road Conversion
Since March 13, a 0.6-mile section of Old State Road 37 North has been converted to a trail for a six-month pilot project. The trail, which is closed to motor vehicles, extends from a point just north of the IMI quarry entrance to a point just south of the entrance to the southernmost playground parking lot. One of seven public amenity improvements being funded by City Bicentennial Bonds issued in 2018, the pilot trail project is intended to expand and integrate with Bloomington’s network of walking and bicycle trails; provide a safe, accessible destination for recreation and exercise; and offer bicycle commuters additional options for safer routes. Trail users may share their experience of the Lower Cascades Pilot Trail Conversion at a survey that will help inform the decision to extend the trial.
West Allen Traffic Calming Project
Speed hump installation in the westbound lane of West Allen Street between Adams Street and Patterson Drive should be complete by May 1, and the street reopened to two-way traffic. The street will remain open to eastbound traffic throughout the project. Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard remains open during construction and is accessible using the detour route for eastbound traffic on Allen. Minor work may occur after May 1, but subsequent full lane closures are not expected. More information about the project is available here.
East Third Street Resurfacing/Reconfiguration Project
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is currently replacing curb ramps at Clarizz Boulevard and Pete Ellis Drive as part of a resurfacing/reconfiguration project on East Third Street between College Mall Road and State Road 446. The project includes patching, milling and paving, and curb ramp replacement along the 1.4-mile section. Following paving, the roadway will be reconfigured between Clarizz and S.R. 446 to include a center turn lane, with one travel lane in each direction. Bike lanes will also be incorporated on each side. The project is scheduled to be completed by August 2020. More information about the project is available through INDOT at in.gov/indot or 1-855-463-6848.
Adams Street Sidewalk and Intersection Improvements Project
Work continues on a project to construct a sidewalk along the east side of South Adams Street from South Patterson Drive to West Kirkwood Avenue, along with the city’s first protected bicycle lanes on each side of the street. The project also replaces the traffic signal equipment and implements lane changes at the intersection of Adams and Kirkwood. The project is designed to improve the safety of the intersection for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. The project is scheduled for completion June 1. More information about the project is available here.
Paving/Curb Repair and Curb Ramp Installation
With spring’s warmer temperatures, the 2020 paving schedule has begun. With newly installed ADA-compliant curb ramps on Atwater Avenue at Swain Avenue and Jordan Avenue, crews this week are proceeding to mill and pave Atwater from Highland Avenue to Mitchell Street. Curb ramps are currently being installed on Rosewood Drive and curb repairs will begin on Kirkwood in preparation for milling and paving in June. This year’s proposed paving schedule is mapped at this link.
Bloomfield Road is currently being resurfaced and restriped using Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) funds provided through a Community Crossing matching grant in 2019. Paving that began April 20 has been completed, and new lane markings are now being applied from Landmark Avenue to Basswood Avenue. Lane markings are also being painted on the newly repaved length of Arlington Road from the roundabout at West 17th Street to West Prow Road.
When encountering the foregoing improvement projects, drivers are asked to travel slowly, cautiously, and distraction-free through the construction zone and be attentive to lane changes for their safety and that of the workers.