Bloomington will be getting a gateway to the city after the project was postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19.
The gateway to the city will be 40 feet tall and will have LED lights illuminating “Bloomington” on it to welcome people to the city according to the City of Bloomington’s press release.
Contractors will do site improvement work on Miller-Showers Park before the installation of the gateway according to the press release. The construction will include repaving Gourley Pike crossover, improving the pedestrian refuge, updating curb ramps and removing trees to replace them with new ones.
Tim Street, operations and development director at Bloomington Parks and Recreation said the project has been in the works since 2018 because it was originally supposed to celebrate Bloomington’s 200th anniversary as a city. He said the project was delayed by COVID-19 and restarted in spring 2022. The construction is planned for this fall and is expected to be mostly completed by the end of the year.
Construction for the project can start once the city acquires a right of way permit from the Bloomington Board of Public Works. The permit is required before starting construction work within the public right of way, which is the public’s right to travel over land even if it is privately owned.
Street said in December 2019 Rundell Ernstberger Associates, an Indianapolis-based landscape architecture firm, prepared a conceptual design presentation looking at various locations for the gateway. The company received $133,925 for the research and design according to the press release.
“Most of the work for the project will be done from the internal part of the park,” Street said. “There will be some disruptions and closures because some of the work involves repairing the pedestrian island, working on the curb ramps and resurfacing the area between the two roads.”
Reed and Sons, the contractor on the project, was awarded a contract for $575,000 for the site improvement work according to the press release.
“The Bicentennial gateway will proudly welcome residents and visitors to Bloomington and also give them a final image before they leave,” Mayor John Hamilton said in the press release. “It represents both a nod to our past and a gift to the future.”