Council Briefing: Aldermen Eye Roadwork and Parks Ahead of Summer Construction

Council Briefing Government
 Summer road work for the City of Bloomington includes over $4.3M of general resurfacing work to select streets and alleyways, including portions of Jefferson Street, Grove Street, IAA Drive and Fairway Drive. (Image credit: City of Bloomington, Public Works Department)

Summer road work for the City of Bloomington includes over $4.3M of general resurfacing work to select streets and alleyways, including portions of Jefferson Street, Grove Street, IAA Drive and Fairway Drive. (Image credit: City of Bloomington, Public Works Department)

Key Issues: Road and Sidewalk Construction,Parks and Recreation Master Plan,  Pipe Replacement at Grossinger Motors Arena

Road and Sidewalk Construction

Council members approved several contracts for work and maintenance related to City roads and sidewalks totaling nearly $5.6M.

“We want to try to bid as much work as we can early in the construction season so that we can be proactive and have as much of that work done throughout the construction season as possible,” said Bloomington Public Works Director Jim Karch.

The work includes over $4.3M of general resurfacing work to select City streets and alleyways, including portions of Jefferson Street, Grove Street, IAA Drive and Fairway Drive.

Karch said in evaluating the streets up for resurfacing City staff consider the total condition of roads, including sewer and water lines, addressing the “worst first.”

All roadwork is expected to be completed early this fall.

Another $1.2M will pay for maintenance and repairs to City sidewalks along with handicap rail replacements.

Parks and Recreation Master Plan

Bloomington Aldermen heard an update on the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan at a special session Monday evening.

GreenPlay Inc. representative Dylan Packebush presented several of the consulting group’s recommendations in the works, including:

  • Increasing indoor programming for young adults and families

  • Updating the City’s trails with increased signage, mile markers and fitness stations

  • Integrating new trends, such as dog parks, splash parks and space for community gatherings, as part of scheduled facilities updates

The department hasn’t had a new comprehensive plan since 1997, with updates made in 2009,  Bloomington Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Director Jay Tetzloff said.

GreenPlay is also developing a master plan for renovations at O’Neil Park and plans to begin a feasibility study for a possible recreation center in the coming months.

Alderman Scott Black pointed to the importance of the plan, saying he considers parks and recreation to be “as high a priority as public safety.”

“We’ve talked about some of the numbers over the years of keeping kids off the streets and putting them in programs or facilities that keep them from being incarcerated, keep them out of trouble, and I think that’s very important,” he added.

Black, whose ward covers the City’s Northwest Side, said he hopes the plans will help establish an “equity of services” among various Bloomington neighborhoods.

What’s Next: GreenPlay will continue working with City staff to develop a final comprehensive plan for Council approval at a later date.

Pipe Replacement at Grossinger Motors Arena

The Council also approved a $290,875 contract to replace piping at the Grossinger Motors Arena.

Staff reported the pipes, related to a system that maintains ice on the floors of the arena and the Pepsi Ice Center, have begun to leak in recent years and need replaced to avoid damaging the overlying concrete.