Editor’s note: The following is a press release from the City of Bloomington. Bloom has republished it here with edits for style and clarity.
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.
7-Line Multimodal Corridor
The City of Bloomington invites community members to a kickoff marking the start of construction of the 7-Line on Thursday, June 3, at 4:30 p.m. on East 7th Street at North Fess Avenue. Mayor John Hamilton will join other stakeholders and residents offering remarks to launch this Bicentennial Bond project, one of seven proposed by the mayor and approved by City Council in 2018. Construction is scheduled to begin this week on the eastern end of the project, which extends 0.72 miles from Woodlawn Avenue to the B-Line Trail.
Building on the success and transformative effect of the north-south B-Line, the 7-Line will provide a protected east-west bicycle lane, improved bus stops, and improved pedestrian features. The multimodal corridor will connect the B-Line, downtown, the Indiana University campus, and neighborhoods on the city’s east and west sides while improving comfort, safety, and efficiency for all road users.
During construction, the eastbound lane of 7th Street will be closed to traffic, with periodic closures of the westbound lane and some sidewalk closures. All travel lanes and sidewalks east of Indiana Avenue will be reopened to traffic prior to August 9 to accommodate the return of the IU student population. The City is coordinating with property owners and residents along the route to minimize impacts and will share updates about street closures and changes to Bloomington Transit routes and schedules during construction, which is expected to continue throughout the year.
Remodeled City Parks
The playground at Olcott Park reopened over the Memorial Day weekend, after the installation of new rubber surfacing, which required consecutive days of warm, dry weather for installation and curing. The playground had been closed since fall 2020 due to the buckling of the previous surfacing.
Installation of new playground equipment at the Reverend Ernest D. Butler Park is progressing. The project’s timeline was extended by the discovery of substantial limestone bedrock underneath the playground, which has required excavation to install support posts for the new playground structure. The playground will have a new climber/spinner feature, benches, and concrete curbing around the perimeter, and the existing swing set will remain in place.
Winslow Woods Park playground is also in this year’s cycle of replacements, with installation anticipated in late summer. The existing playground equipment will be removed approximately a week prior to the scheduled installation of the new equipment and poured-in-place rubber surfacing.
A project to replace and upgrade the traffic signal equipment and make geometric improvements to the intersection of East 17th and North Dunn streets is underway. This week, the intersection was closed for construction, and is scheduled to reopen upon anticipated completion of the project on August 14. This project will also include the placement of signal hardware, curbing, sidewalk, asphalt, pavement markings, landscaping, and stormwater infrastructure. More information about this project is available here.
Jackson Creek Trail Phase II
Construction of the northern section of the Jackson Creek Trail Phase II on High Street near Childs Elementary School is underway. This project adds 1 1/2 miles to the trail and multiuse path and will increase safety and provide connections for bicyclists and pedestrians to Jackson Creek Middle School, Sherwood Oaks Park, Childs Elementary School, Southeast Park, and the Goat Farm property.
Construction activity near Childs is scheduled for completion by the start of the school year. The northern section of the trail, extending from South East Park to the High-Winslow-Rogers roundabout, is scheduled for completion by November 2021. The trail’s southern section, extending along Jackson Creek from Sare and Rhorer roads to the existing trail at Sherwood Oaks Park, is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2022. More information is available at bloomington.in.gov/engineering/projects/jackson-trail.
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 1st Street and South College Avenue, where it reappears as Clear Creek.
The project has required the closure of East Smith Avenue from South Lincoln to South Washington streets for approximately two months in order to remove the existing box culvert. The contractor is coordinating with the neighboring residents, businesses, and nonprofits to diminish impacts. Through Thursday, June 10, South Washington Street is dedicated to The Project School pickup traffic only between East Third Street and East Smith Avenue from 3 to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with flaggers directing traffic during that hour.
As regular users of the Waldron, Hill, and Buskirk Park (Third Street Park), students at The Project School have been invited to participate in the process of selecting new playground equipment to replace the playground that was removed during culvert excavation. Community members will also have the opportunity to get involved in the selection process. A new playground is scheduled for installation in late 2021.
Over the next two years, City of Bloomington Utilities and its contractor, Milestone Contractors, 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.