$1M for hospital redev design work OK’d by Bloomington RDC, 7-Line bicycle lane gets $673K funding backstop

At its regular meeting on Monday, Bloomington’s redevelopment commission gave funding approvals for infrastructure projects in two different parts of town, which are connected by the B-Line non-motorized trail.

For design work on the redevelopment of the IU Health hospital site, at 2nd and Rogers streets, the RDC approved a $1,048,880 contract with Shrewsberry and Associates, a firm with local offices and corporate headquarters in Indianapolis.

The scope of work in Shrewsberry’s contract is related to the part of the hospital site master plan called “Phase 1 East.”

Shrewsberry’s work includes, among other tasks, a topographic survey of the block bounded by 2nd, Morton, 1st, and Rogers streets. That’s the eastern portion of the site.

The whole site is planned for redevelopment as a mix of commercial space and between  580 and 940 new housing units.

After IU Health moves to its new facility on SR 46 towards the end of 2021, Bloomington will take control of the site in a $6.5 million real estate deal.

The soon-to-be-former hospital site sits just to the west of the north-south B-Line non-motorized trail. About a half mile north of the hospital site, the B-Line intersects with 7th Street at the western edge of the 7-Line protected bicycle lane, now under construction.

At its meeting on Monday, the RDC approved $673,609 in consolidated tax increment financing (TIF) funds to be used towards what is now a project with a total estimated cost of $3.2 million.

The TIF funds approved by the RDC on Monday are what city controller Jeff Underwood called “backup funding” for now. Construction costs for the 7-Line project are higher than expected when the project was planned.

Construction work for the 7-Line kicked off last week, on the eastern edge of the project, which runs from Madison Street to the Indiana University campus at Woodlawn Avenue.

Milestone Contractors, LP was awarded the $2.6 million construction contract for the 7-Line, at the board of public works meeting on May 11.

Milestone is also the firm that’s currently doing the work on the Hidden River project—to rehab the stormwater culvert that leads the Campus River from Dunn Meadow at Indiana Avenue to 1st Street and College Avenue, where the waterway re-emerges above ground.

The bids received by the city for the 7-Line were from Milestone Contractors ($2,572,455), Crider & Crider, Inc. ($2,689,427) and E & B Paving, LLC ($2,847,950).

The primary source of funding for the 7-Line, among other sources, is the “Bicentennial Bonds,” approved by the city council in 2018.

7-Line Funding Sources

7-Line Funding Source Amount
Bicentennial Bond CBU (Rain Gardens) $150,000
Bicentennial Bond Series ‘A’ $1,800,000
General Fund (101) $315,372
Cum Cap Dev (601) $58,901
Alternative Transportation (454) $202,116
Consolidated TIF $673,609
Estimated full cost of project $3,200,000

Underwood told RDC members that the funding should be considered backup funding for now. “We’re actually reviewing other alternatives to fund the remainder of this project,” Underwood said. He said sometime in the next one or two meetings of the RDC, he’d be able to tell members whether the $670,000 of TIF revenue would be needed as a permanent backup, or if alternate funds had been found.

For the hospital site redevelopment design, Patrick Dierkes, who’s the city’s project engineer for the work, was on hand at Monday’s meeting to answer questions. Dierkes told RDC members that Shrewsberry’s scope of work will include the demolition package, and design of the extension of Madison Street, as well as the greenway through the site.

RDC members had some questions about the ability of Shrewsberry to do the necessary survey and environmental assessment work, when some of the parcels are not yet owned by the city. The three parcels on the southeast corner of the block, for example, still need to be acquired.

Assistant city attorney Larry Allen responded to RDC member Deb Hutton’s question about timeline for acquisition of the additional properties. “As soon as possible, is the timeline,” Allen said.

Allen added, “We’re doing our best and reaching out…We understand that this is a huge project for the city of Bloomington. We want to make sure that we do the best job we can.”

As far as the acquisition of the remaining properties, project engineer Dierkes said that it might be necessary to exclude certain properties at some point, in either the design or the construction phase.

For the resolution that RDC members were asked to approve on Monday, Dierkes said, “We wanted to make sure that we weren’t going to reach a point where we had to sit on our hands and wait until we had additional funding approval.”

Dierkes called it an “extremely fast-paced project.” The final submission by Shrewsberry is due on Jan. 4, 2022.

Photos: 7-Line Construction June 7, 2021

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