Bloomington OKs a bit more for $4.9M street rebuild at hospital site, as IU Health eyes move

At its Monday meeting, Bloomington’s redevelopment commission (RDC) approved a relatively small increase of about $8,000 to the $4.9-million budget of a project that will rebuild 1st Street.

The street reconstruction is set to start construction sometime in 2023.

Even though that’s more than a year away, the event that’s motivating the street work is less than a month down the road.

The street reconstruction is part of a redevelopment plan for the 24-acre IU Health hospital site on 2nd Street, which the city of Bloomington will be taking over from the health care provider as part of a $6.5 million real estate deal.

In a news release last week, IU Health confirmed that its move from the hospital site on 2nd Street, to its new facility on the SR 45/46 bypass, is on course for Dec. 5.

President of IU Health’s south central region, Brian Shockney, is quoted in the release saying, “December 5 is going to be a very busy day as our teams work to transport patients from the current facility over to the new IU Health Bloomington.”

At its Monday meeting, the five-member RDC approved an increase of $8,070 in the contract for design work by VS Engineering, Inc. That bumped the contract from $720,959 to $729,029.

The project, which has an estimated cost of almost $5 million, got its initial approval from the RDC a year ago.

The slight increase in cost is connected to the now recognized need to acquire right-of-way from some private property owners.

Patrick Dierkes, a city of Bloomington project engineer, told the RDC that the project was not initially thought to need the acquisition of right-of-way, because the city would be getting access to all of the land through its purchase agreement with IU Health.

As design work got started, it was recognized that some additional private property would need to be acquired. The increase in cost, Dierkes said, would cover the first step, which is assessing the value of the private property. Dierkes told RDC members that when the final environmental documents are in place, they’d be asked to approve an additional contract addendum, to finalize the right-of-way services.

A total of $90,000 is allocated in the project budget for right-of-way acquisition.

The other cost components of the $4.9 million 1st Street reconstruction include $475,000 for construction inspection. Construction is estimated to cost $3,650,000. Of that amount $2,905,934 will come from federal road funding.

The other parts of the project, totaling $2,030,025, will come from tax increment finance (TIF) revenue.

The work to rebuild 1st Street is described in the hospital site redevelopment master plan  as transforming the road into a “great neighborhood street.” That means two-way shared lanes for cars and other vehicles—not bicycle lanes. It will also mean width reduction, the addition of parallel parking, more trees, and wider sidewalks.

The work includes a full roadway reconstruction, the replacement of underground utilities, and replacement of the traffic signal at the intersection of College Avenue and 1st Street.