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The Indiana Daily Student

city bloomington

Recent construction projects cause sidewalk, lane closures across city

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The city started three construction and renovation projects this month, leading to sidewalk and lane closures, as well as limited parking in some areas of Bloomington.  

Hopewell project: area bound by Second Street, Rogers Street, First Street and the B-Line

Bloomington started demolishing nine buildings at the former IU Health Bloomington Hospital site off First Street on Feb. 9. The demolition project will occur between 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and take around 16-20 weeks to complete.  

The city is working with contracting company Renascent to prepare the site for the development of the Hopewell neighborhood, a development that could include up to 1,000 units of mixed-income housing. The Bloomington Redevelopment Commission approved a $353,052 contract with the company during their meeting Feb. 5.  

In 2018 the city announced it would redevelop 24 acres between First and Second Street. IU Health transferred the property to the city after constructing the new IU Health Regional Academic Health Center in 2021. The city broke ground on the development in July 2023.  

According to a city press release, a team of two to four individuals will manually demolish the structures to reduce the noise, vibration and dust from the project. Explosives will also not be used in the demolition project.  

The city may demolish another building, a house built in the 1920s, in the area but needs approval from the Bloomington Historic Preservation Commission. At the commission’s Jan. 25 meeting, its members voted to recommend the Housing and Neighborhood Development Department delay the demolition of the building. If the city wants to move the house across the street, it will cost around $30,000.  

The city’s West Second Street Modernization and Safety Improvement project -- which includes plans to construct a two-way protected bike lane, upgrade storm sewers and drainage systems, and construct sidewalks, curb ramps and bus stops on Second Street – also aims to support the Hopewell project 

There are no lane closures currently planned for the project. 

Clear Creek Culvert Reconstruction project: area between Indiana Avenue and Dunn Street  

The city and contracting company Milestone Contractors LP started construction on the Clear Creek Culvert Reconstruction project near Dunn Street and Indiana Avenue on Feb. 5. This reconstruction project aims to improve stormwater drainage and utility infrastructure by replacing an existing limestone tunnel — which was built in 1900 — with a new concrete tunnel.  

According to a city of Bloomington press release, the project will occasionally limit traffic and parking in the area, including part of Indiana Avenue. The area of Indiana Avenue from the intersection on Kirkwood Avenue to the intersection on Sixth Street will be closed for about 10 weeks but will reopen by August 2024. Milestone Contractors LP does not have an exact date of when this closure will begin, but that it will occur after IU’s graduations in May.  

Additionally, half of the IU Von Lee parking lot, located across from Franklin Hall, will be closed until August.  

Holly McLauchlin, City of Bloomington Utilities Communications Manager, said in the press release the city worked with Milestone Contractors LP to complete other reconstruction projects downtown starting in 2023.  

“Maintaining the infrastructure that supports Bloomington is more important than ever in a changing climate,” McLauchlin said in the release.  

The city estimates it will complete the project in October.  

Stormwater Infrastructure Project at City Hall: Morton Street 

The city utilities department also began replacing a stormwater box culvert, a structure that helps prevent drainage issues, near the entrance to City Hall on Morton Street on Feb. 12.  

According to a city press release, the sidewalk on the west side of Morton Street from West Seventh Street to West Eighth Street will be closed until Feb. 27. The infrastructure project will also close the Morton Street entrance to the City Hall parking lot. However, drivers can still access the parking lot from the entrances on North Rogers Street and West 10th Street.  

The project will cost around $40,000, according to the City of Bloomington. The city will fund this project through the monthly stormwater fees paid by residents in the area.  

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