On Tuesday evening, Beth Hollingsworth concluded a decade and a half of service as a member of Bloomington’s board of public works.
She led off her final meeting with a message to everyone in Bloomington. “Now begins the fun of summer—with festivals, markets, outdoor dining, and much, much more,” she began.
She continued with a perspective on this season’s public works activity: “You’re going to encounter road closures, lane restrictions, detours.”
Hollingsworth wrapped up: “Pay attention, be safe, be patient, and enjoy the many activities available this summer.”
For Hollingsworth the meeting marked the end of her second span of service on the board. During his staff report, public works director Adam Wason described Hollingsworth’s time on the board as starting in 1998 going through 2008 and resuming again in 2017.
About Hollingsworth’s approach to her board service, Wason said, “If there was ever any concern that there wasn’t going to be a document reviewed with a fine-tooth comb…, I always knew that Beth would come to us with good questions and the community’s best interest in mind.”
Repair and restoration of Monroe County’s Alexander Memorial at the southeast corner of the downtown courthouse square is set to get started on Monday.
That means downtown visitors might notice a big crane hoisting big panels of limestone into place. It also means that eight fewer parking spaces will be available on the eastern side of the square.
Also on Monday, just southeast of the Alexander Memorial on Kirkwood Avenue, the city of Bloomington’s department of public works will start setting up the yellow bollards that will close off portions of Kirkwood Avenue to motor vehicle traffic.
The street closure program is meant to give restaurants and retail stores a way to expand their capacity.
The Kirkwood closure, for the western half of the block between Washington and Walnut streets, will last through the end of October, based on the city council’s approval in the third week of January.
Also to be closed off are the two blocks at the eastern end of Kirkwood, between Indiana Avenue and Dunn Street.
Bloomington’s new 540-space parking garage on 4th Street has been open for people to park there since Aug. 23.
Since then, elements like the payment system and solar panels have been installed.
On Wednesday, the installation of the public artwork called “Urban Fabric” resumed after a two-day pause, in order to get approval from the board of public works for a lane closure on Walnut Street.
The art consists of vast panels of multi-colored aluminum wedges that are meant to evoke a quilt.
Also this week, the two public toilets on the north end of the garage were open for use, after a delay due to a lack of parts for the doors. According to public works director Adam Wason, a late issue arose with the compatibility of the electronic locking mechanisms and the door jambs.
The restrooms will be open around the clock through the whole week, with regular monitoring during overnight hours, according to Wason.