(BLOOMINGTON) – At the direction of Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton, the City of Bloomington’s Department of Public Works is increasing its efforts in two ways to repair streets damaged by last week’s storms and flooding, and the recent series of freeze-thaw cycles.
Heavy rains and flooding February 7 dislodged many recently filled potholes; the subsequent freezing of excessive surface water produced others. After patching 647 potholes last week, street division crews will undertake two new efforts that will help tackle the exceptional amount of damage.
To add capacity for repairs and accelerate the process, Public Works is partnering with local highway contractor Crider & Crider Inc. to bring short-term extra hands on board to fill potholes this week. Crider & Crider will supply a crew and equipment at a daily cost of $1,520. Although the work schedule is contingent on rain and temperatures, the City anticipates the coordinated effort to take four to five days, after which city crews will continue to address repairs.
Additionally, the street division’s efforts will be bolstered with the arrival of a previously ordered asphalt hot box reclaimer, which Public Works expects to take delivery of this week. The hot box heats asphalt to recommended temperatures and maintains them until the asphalt is used, which accelerates and improves wintertime pothole repairs. Lacking this apparatus, Public Works regularly deployed the “cold patch” pothole repair method, which produces less resilient repairs. The City acquired the hot box reclaimer at a cost of $28,484 as a result of an infrastructure investment request in the 2019 budget. The second hot box purchased within the past six years, this updated model will allow for the use of hot mix asphalt all year round, resulting in more permanent patches.
“With the addition of this new apparatus and our partnership with Crider & Crider, our hard-working street crews will be able to provide longer-lasting pothole repairs saving all of us time, trouble and money,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “While we have carefully allocated resources and personnel to handle normal street repairs, we are grateful to Crider and Crider for supplementing the City’s efforts in this critical situation. The unusual extent of the current damage to our streets reminds us how we have to prepare ourselves as climate change causes more extreme weather events.”
Local homeowners and renters are also being urged to report damage and loss suffered as a result of last week’s storms, tornado, and subsequent flooding to Monroe County Emergency Management. Residents may complete a report of the damage by using this form, located under the Recent News section of the Monroe County website, at www.co.monroe.in.us, or by leaving their contact information at 812-349-2997. Business owners may also report damage or loss caused by the recent weather events at the county’s website.
Although completing the form will not ensure reimbursement, Monroe County Emergency Management is collecting reports of storm-related damage and loss for the State of Indiana to present to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which will subsequently determine whether to allocate emergency funds to reimburse residents for costs. Reports may be filed by homeowners and renters in Bloomington and throughout Monroe County about damage to a variety of homes, including apartments, duplexes, trailers, houses built on a slab, and houses with full basements.