Public invited to Butler Park Playground Ribbon Cutting, virtual meeting on 17th Street multimodal improvements

BLOOMINGTON – 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.

City Park Playgrounds 

Reverend Ernest D. Butler Park 

Community members are invited to join City staff for a ribbon-cutting to open the new playground at Rev. Ernest D. Butler Park on Thursday, July 22. Free play begins at 1 p.m. with remarks from special guests starting at 1:30 p.m.  Butler Park is located at the corner of West Ninth Street and North Fairview Street.

Waldron, Hill and Buskirk Park (Third Street Park)

The City’s Parks and Recreation Department received online feedback from more than 80 playground enthusiasts about the equipment to be installed in the Waldron, Hill, and Buskirk Park (Third Street Park) to replace the playground that was removed as part of the City’s Hidden River Pathway Project (more information below).  Department staff is developing a request for proposals for the new playground that includes this feedback–together with that from other regular users of the facility–along with site specifications and the available budget for the project.  

Public Input Sought on 17th Street Multimodal Improvements

Community members are invited to a virtual public meeting to learn more about an upcoming City of Bloomington project on 17th Street, from Monroe Street to Grant Street, that will improve safety and accessibility for a mix of transportation options.  The project involves changes along 17th Street including the construction of a multiuse path along the north side of the street, construction of accessible sidewalk curb ramps, street resurfacing, and replacement of the existing traffic signal at the intersection of 17th Street at Madison Street/Kinser Pike. 

Residents may join the virtual public meeting on July 27 from 6 to 7 p.m. where this project will be presented and questions can be answered at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89982268437.  Comments may also be submitted to an online form at the project website: https://bloomington.in.gov/engineering/projects/17thpath 

Supported by federal funding as prioritized through the Bloomington Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization  (BMCMPO), the project is currently in the design phase, with construction expected to begin in mid to late 2022.  The improvements are part of the City’s larger commitment to sustainability and quality of life for all residents. 

Public Invited to Provide Input about Local Transportation Projects

The Bloomington-Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization (BMCMPO) continues to seek public input for the development of the Fiscal Year 2022-2026 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).  The FY 2022-2026 TIP is a comprehensive list of planned and funded multi-modal transportation projects programmed for the Indiana Department of Transportation, Monroe County, Rural Transit, Bloomington Transit, and the City of Bloomington.  Providing feedback on the proposed list of TIP projects helps shape the project investment priorities of the BMCMPO for the next five  years.   

The draft 2022-26 TIP document is available for review or electronic downloading at Transportation Improvement Program | City of Bloomington, Indiana.  Members of the public may submit comments regarding this draft document directly to BMCMPO staff by email at martipa@bloomington.in.gov or clemensr@bloomington.in.gov, to be shared with the BMCMPO’s committees.  Voting to adopt the draft TIP takes place on September 10th.  

Griffy Lake Accessible Fishing Pier and Loop Trail Project

One of seven Bicentennial Bond projects announced by Mayor John Hamilton in 2018 and approved by the Bloomington City Council, the Griffy Lake Loop Trail and Accessible Fishing Pier project will go out for bid Friday, July 23.  Through Friday, August 20, firms may submit proposals to construct the first phase of the loop trail around the lake, as well as an accessible fishing pier and concrete walking trail on the west side of the causeway.  If bids received are viable and acceptable, a contract for construction will be reviewed for approval at the September meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners. This project also includes a realignment of the entry drive into the Griffy Lake parking lot and a guardrail along Headley Road across from the boathouse.  The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for this project will be posted at https://www.bloomingtonplanroom.com/.

Lower Cascades Park Streambank Stabilization & Trail Construction  

The road through Lower Cascades Park remains closed to motor vehicles while it awaits necessary repairs from the June 18 flood, but is open to pedestrians and cyclists.  In addition to these repairs, the city will be installing traffic calming measures along the road as part of reopening the road after the recently concluded Road Conversion Pilot.  Pedestrians and cyclists using the road are encouraged to use caution in the area, due to both the necessary repairs and the start of the Lower Cascades Streambank Stabilization & Trail Phase 5 project, which began staging and layout this week.

This project will create a quarter-mile of new 8-foot wide paved trail from the southern end of the Sycamore Shelter parking lot to a new trail roundabout just south of the Waterfall Shelter. From there, an approximately 730′ long accessible boardwalk will be built to a viewing platform at the waterfall, and a new pedestrian bridge will connect the roundabout to the southern parts of the park.

The project will also stabilize approximately 430+ feet of streambank in the vicinity of the Waterfall Shelter by removing parts of the damaged and eroded wall, pulling back the streambank into tiers, and lining them with large limestone blocks. Pulling back the streambank will allow the creek to slow down during high-water events, reducing the erosive forces and decreasing the amount of sediment carried by the water.  Additionally, the project will install new infrastructure for improved lighting through this portion of the park.

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 West 1st Street and South College Avenue, where it reappears as Clear Creek.  Last week, crews installed the water and sewer lines on Smith Avenue west of South Lincoln Street, set precast box culvert forms across Smith toward the park, and made a pour on the next “cast in place” section of the culvert on the north side of Smith.  This week, crews are continuing the excavation of the existing precast box culvert on Lincoln, will complete the tie-in to the water main on Smith Avenue, and pour the wall sections of the parts of the culvert that are cast in place.   No changes in traffic patterns are anticipated this week.  

Until early 2023, the 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 here.    

When encountering these improvement projects or others, motorists are asked to travel slowly, cautiously, and distraction-free through every construction zone for the safety of the workers and others using the road.

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