Indiana Daily Student

Bloomington to start construction of B-Line Connection Project

<p>Dog walkers congregate May 28, 2020, on the B-Line Trail. The city will construct a multiuse path on the north and east sides of Fountain Drive and Crescent Road to West 17th Street.  </p>

Dog walkers congregate May 28, 2020, on the B-Line Trail. The city will construct a multiuse path on the north and east sides of Fountain Drive and Crescent Road to West 17th Street.  

The City of Bloomington will begin the construction phase of the B-Line Connection Project this spring, which will connect the B-Line trail at Adams Street with the multiuse path on the overpass at 17th Street and I-69. 

The estimated construction time for the project will be from June 2023 to June 2024. 

Roy Aten, senior project manager with the City of Bloomington Engineering Department, said in an email that the concept for the project goes back to when the B-Line was created in 2011. However, Aten said this most recent phase of the project was initiated about five years ago and the first public meeting to discuss the construction was in 2019.  

Aten said in the email that the project will involve constructing multiuse paths that will run parallel to existing roads, as well as trails that are facilities of parks and recreation. The Public Works Department will maintain the multiuse path and the Parks Department will maintain the B-Line trail when it comes to the different design and maintenance requirements he said. 

[Related: Police union speaks out against city council decision to move police headquarters

The Bloomington Transportation Plan said the BTP supports a safe, efficient, accessible transportation system with more options so there will be less dependence on cars in Bloomington.  

AZTEC Engineering Group is the transportation design firm used by the city to design the project. Adrian Reid, project manager for AZTEC Engineering Group, said in an email there will be a tree clearing in March for the project. Utility relocation work is also planned for the summer. 

Aten said some utility poles will need to be moved and gas, sewer and water lines will need to be adjusted. Aten said the only relocations associated with for the project are utility relocations. 

Aten said a combination of three different funding sources will be used for the project. The city’s general fund and the Redevelopment Commission's tax increment funds have been used for most of the design he said. Indiana Department of Local Government Finance said TIF is a tool used to fund economic development and investment in infrastructure. 

“We are still working on the funding formula for the construction, but it will be a combination of both Redevelopment funds and Federal funds,” Aten said in the email. 

Aten said the total cost of the project is estimated to be around $3.4 million. He said the right-of-way acquisition, the act of acquiring land to complete a project, used a grant of $717,000 from the Federal Highway Administration through the Metropolitan Planning Organization. 

[Related: City of Bloomington programs moving to more solar energy use

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