(BLOOMINGTON) – In keeping with current public health regulations, the City of Bloomington continues to advance Infrastructure projects enhancing safety, transportation, economic vitality, environmental sustainability, and quality of life for all. Updates about a selection of current projects and programs follow:
Kirkwood Avenue Maintenance Project/Downtown Pilot Programs
Completed in early June, the Kirkwood Avenue Maintenance Project updated the city’s iconic boulevard with pedestrian enhancements that allow the street to serve alternately as a plaza. Several innovative approaches to the downtown streetscape that complement the physical improvements are currently in place to stimulate the local economy and support local and state guidelines for health and safety during the COVID-19 crisis. The following pilot programs have been approved by the Board of Public Works through September 30:
- Expanded seating in the right-of-way: Restaurants along Kirkwood have been permitted since mid-June to expand seating into the street to facilitate physical distancing for their customers. First implemented in the blocks between Indiana and Grant from Thursdays at 2 p.m through Mondays at 8 a.m., this pilot has been expanded to the block between Washington and Walnut, where vehicular traffic along Kirkwood will continue to be restricted throughout this week and into this weekend at the request of the businesses in this block. Future implementation of the closure for expanded seating in this block will be considered during the week of August 24. Removable bollards installed as part of the Kirkwood maintenance project protect the temporary pedestrian space, while vehicular traffic continues to flow north and south on the streets intersecting Kirkwood.
- Parklets: Since August 5, six parking spaces on the west side of North College Avenue between Fifth and Sixth Streets have been designated as “parklets,” providing expanded, physically distanced seating for the restaurants on that block. The spaces are protected from traffic by orange water-filled barriers. Today, parklets are being implemented in five additional downtown blocks, as displayed at this map. Additional parklets may be implemented based on requests from downtown restaurants, which may be made at this online application: https://forms.gle/8YLAuUVmE8PAjmbY8. Additional requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis, balancing needs for expanded seating with availability of parking, safety, feasibility of implementation, and other factors. Any additional parklets would be implemented September 2 and September 16, and continue through the pilot’s end date (September 30). There is no cost to the restaurant to have a parklet during this pilot program.
- 15-minute pick-up/drop-off (PUDO) spaces: Since August 1, free, 15-minute parking has been designated at 56 spaces over 30 blocks in downtown commercial zones (as indicated at this map) to facilitate the curbside pickup model to which many area restaurants have recently transitioned. One to two PUDO spaces per block are identified with signage affixed to the meter. Parking at the PUDO spaces and regular metered spaces is monitored from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday to ensure regular turnover.
Residents can now follow the progress of new garage construction via live video captured by newly installed webcams at the Trades District Garage and the Fourth Street Garage. Each video portal also offers time-lapse footage of progress over periods from a day to a week to a month.
Located between the Showers City Hall building and the B-Line Trail, the Trades District Garage project is proceeding from the completion of all parking decks on schedule to the pouring of the facility’s exterior walls and “crash walls” at each level. Work ahead includes the installation of the precast brick exterior in the early fall and, subsequently, the development of the commercial portion of the garage (adjacent to the B- Line). Tenth Street is currently closed near the construction site and may close periodically throughout construction to ensure safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. The Trades District Garage will add 350 spaces to the inventory of parking spaces downtown upon completion in spring 2021.
Construction of the Fourth Street Garage has been underway since mid-July, with foundation piers completed. A tower crane has been installed at the center of the site to allow for materials to be moved during construction from inside the site, currently minimizing the need for lane closures. As parking decks are formed and poured in the coming months, the delivery of concrete will entail some traffic interruptions around the site, which the City will work with the construction manager to minimize. Scheduled for completion in summer 2021, the Fourth Street Garage will provide over 500 parking spaces of different varieties (accessible, compact, regular, and electric vehicle), as well as new City Parking Management Offices, a bicycle parking depot, and commercial space, and will activate adjacent pedestrian spaces. The new garages will be the first in Indiana to achieve Parksmart certification, a green credential.
Adams Street Sidewalk and Intersection Improvements Project:
Work is substantially complete on a project to construct a sidewalk and the City’s first protected bike lanes on both the east and west side of South Adams Street from South Patterson Drive to West Kirkwood Avenue. 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.
More information about the project is available here.
Sidewalk Repair Assistance Program Phase 2
Deteriorating sidewalk is being removed and new sidewalk and curb being installed on the east side of North Madison Street between 14th and 17th Streets as part of Phase 2 of the Sidewalk Repair Assistance Program. Homeowners in the area are urged to apply for funding to improve the sidewalk adjacent to their property while crews are nearby; and property owners in other neighborhoods are also welcome to apply for participation in this partnership program, which is open to those who own and occupy single-family homes in federally designated Community Development Block Grant areas within the corporate limits of Bloomington, and are current on payment of property taxes and other debts to the City. In addition, the sidewalk must have a “poor” rating on the pavement condition index, as verified by City staff.
Prospective participants may enter their address into a portal at the project’s website to determine their eligibility. The Sidewalk Repair Assistance Program removed and replaced more than 2500 linear feet of sidewalk in two neighborhoods during its first phase in 2019.
Streets and Sidewalks
Street improvements are taking place along West Sixth Street between North College Ave and North Walnut Street this week, and continuing along North Lincoln Street from East Kirkwood Avenue to East Eighth Street. Sidewalk installation is continuing this week in The Stands, where lane restrictions have been implemented and no parking notices posted at several addresses. Road construction takes place daily from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. The 2020 paving and concrete/curb repair season schedule is posted here.
More information about current City-led infrastructure projects is available here. When encountering 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.