Infrastructure Projects Underway to Improve Stormwater Management, Parks, Sidepaths

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.

Hidden River Pathway Project

The Hidden River Pathway Project is underway to replace 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 College Avenue, where it reappears as Clear Creek.

Over the next two years, City of Bloomington Utilities (CBU) and its contractor, Milestone Contractors, LLP will be reconstructing 1,829 feet of these 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.  

Last week, crews installed traffic control, cleared remaining trees, and began the excavation for the first section of culvert installation on South Washington Street between East Third Street and Smith Avenue; and began excavation for sanitary relocations on South Lincoln Street. 

This project has required the removal of existing playground equipment, benches, picnic tables, and the Little Free Library, on the east side of The Waldron, Hill, and Buskirk Park (Third Street Park), which the Parks and Recreation Department completed last week.

Plans call for the playground to be replaced, and amenities reinstalled, upon completion of the Hidden River project underneath the park. 

The parking lot on the east side of the Allison-Jukebox Community Center will serve as a staging area for the project, and public parking in the lot will be limited to a few spaces for the duration of the project.

This week, the Hidden River project progresses with the excavation of the existing box culvert on Washington Street and prepping the ground to begin installing the first section of the new box culvert, and installing a sanitary sewer along the eastern side of Lincoln Street, which will be closed for several weeks during installation.  Traffic will continue to flow on the western side of the street. 

On weekday afternoons, especially between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., motorists are asked to avoid using South Washington Street between East Third Street and Smith Avenue.  As school dismissal and pickup from The Project School can create traffic congestion during this time, motorists are asked to find an alternate route.

More information, maps, and updates about the Hidden River Pathway Project are available here.

Sare Road Multiuse Path and Intersection Improvements Project

Intersection improvements at the Sare Road/Moores Pike intersection and a new multiuse path on the west side of Sare Road from approximately Cathcart Street to Buttonwood Lane are progressing on schedule.

The current traffic patterns will be maintained at the intersection of Sare Road/Moores Pike/College Mall Road in an effort to reduce possible driver confusion.

Concrete sidewalk work has been completed, and limited construction activity is anticipated over the next two to three weeks, after which traffic signal construction is expected to begin. 

More information is available here.  


Construction of the City’s new Trades District Garage and replacement Fourth Street Garage is progressing on schedule.  Residents may follow the progress of the garages’ construction via webcams installed at both sites from the links above.

The new Trades District Garage, located between the Showers City Hall building and the B-Line Trail, will add 350 spaces to the inventory of parking spaces downtown upon completion, currently projected for April 2021 (with a ribbon-cutting event to be announced soon).  This garage, to be equipped with electric vehicle charging stations and a solar array, and the replacement Fourth Street Garage will be the first in Indiana to achieve Parksmart certification, a sustainability credential. 

Both garages will also offer public, all-gender restrooms. 

Exterior masonry work is wrapping up along the Trades garage’s commercial side facing the B-Line, and exterior windows and “storefronts” are scheduled to be installed this week.  

The collaborative artwork “Aurora Almanac” by Lafayette-based artist Esteban Garcia Bravo will be installed in the structure’s stairwells in the second half of the year. 

Registration is currently underway for a workshop Thursday, March 11 from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at The Mill, during which participants will learn simple graphics programming and create their own artworks to be integrated into the installation. Registration for this limited capacity event may be made here

Additional opportunities for public collaboration in the development of the artwork will be presented at the ribbon-cutting.

More information about monthly or annual parking at the Trades District Garage is available online or through the Garage Customer Service Representatives during regular business hours at 812-369-3622 or through the Parking Customer Service Office at 812-349-3436. 

Inquiries about leasing commercial space in the Trades garage may be made through the City’s Economic and Sustainable Development Department, at 812-349-3418.

Construction also remains on pace for the Fourth Street Garage, which will replace the former 352-space garage with more than 500 new parking spaces of different varieties (accessible, compact, regular, and electric vehicles), as well as new City Parking Management Offices, a bicycle parking depot, and commercial space, and will activate adjacent pedestrian spaces. 

Concrete work is expected to wrap up during the second week of March, after which time scaffolding will be removed and the alleyway reopened (although it may be closed periodically when safety precautions warrant). 

Motorists are advised that the west lane of Walnut Street will continue to remain closed to facilitate the movement of construction vehicles. The structure’s exterior precast panels will be installed over the next two months. 

The artwork “Urban Fabric” by Indianapolis-based Project One Studio, approved by the City’s Arts Commission and Plan Commission, will closely integrate with the design and facade of the structure itself.  The work will be installed after the garage’s substantial completion. 

The Fourth Street Garage is scheduled for opening in August 2021.  

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.