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Adam Wason
Director of Public Works
wasona@bloomington.in.gov
812-349-3516
 

Traffic Mitigating Measures May Taper as Tapp Road Opening Eases Congestion Along West Third Street


Bloomington, Ind. - The projected opening this evening of the Tapp Road interchange with I-69 is expected to have an easing effect on traffic on the west side of Bloomington.  Depending on the degree to which the clearing of this major east-west artery reduces the burden on West Third Street, the City of Bloomington’s measures to mitigate congestion along that route may be reduced in scope as the week progresses.

A pilot program launched May 22 and in operation May 22-25 and May 29-June 1 has stationed Bloomington Police Department personnel at five intersections along West Third Street from 3:45 p.m. until the heaviest traffic subsides around 6 p.m. to flag westbound drivers through traffic lights at Franklin Drive, on the overpass, at Gates Drive and at Liberty Drive. According to photographic evidence gathered by drone aircraft, as well as the accounts of the officers stationed at the intersections, the program has significantly reduced delays along the section of the route between the railroad crossing on the east side of I-69 to Liberty Drive during those peak hours when the officers have been present.

Officers will be posted at those intersections again Monday, June 4.  Again gauging the situation via drone and officer reports, the City may reduce the number of personnel or the hours flaggers are stationed if the relief provided by the opening of the Tapp Street interchange proves substantial.   

Prior to May 22, traffic along West Third Street had slowed down considerably during the evening rush hour as a result of the lane reconfigurations necessitated by construction of that route’s interchange with I-69, a project led by the Indiana Department of Transportation.  

INDOT’s expected resolution of the West Second Street interchange in late June will restore another critical east-west corridor as the summer progresses and should provide additional relief to drivers. INDOT has slated the completion of the West Third Street exchange for August.  To avoid delays involved with crossing I-69 at West Second or West Third Street, INDOT recommends using exits at Fullerton Pike, Vernal Pike, and Indiana State Road 46.

“Since many students are away, and the weather is conducive, summer is a traditionally busy time for road construction in Bloomington,” said Mayor John Hamilton.  “This summer’s schedule is particularly intense because of multiple projects led by various state and local agencies that need to get done soon for financial, environmental, or safety concerns.  Thanks for your continued patience as we reinforce the foundation of Bloomington’s safe and successful future.

It is anticipated that another key east-west artery on the southwest side will be cleared by June 24 when the Monroe County Government-led project to repair a bridge on Country Club Road is scheduled to be completed, weather permitting. 

County and City collaborated to reduce the length of time that that project would overlap with nearby infrastructure improvement construction by providing financial incentives to the contractor performing the bridge repair.  The collaboration was effective in reducing the overlap with the City Utilities Department’s sanitary sewer installation at Grimes and Walnut to three weeks from an original timeline of eight weeks.  The Grimes project is scheduled to begin this Monday, June 4, and to be complete by August 8, weather permitting, in time for the start of the 2018-29 MCCSC school year. 

At the same time, the intersection improvement project at Tapp and Rockport that has been under consideration in various iterations by the Bloomington/Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for 10 years is scheduled to begin June 11 and to be complete by mid-November.  The county’s Fullerton Pike Phase I Reconstruction Project has closed Rhorer Road between Walnut Street and Walnut Street Pike since the beginning of the month. The road is expected to be closed for 150 days. 

Updates about Bloomington roads are posted at https://bloomington.in.gov/inroads/events.  


How to commute smarter this summer:


Text “roads” to 812-558-5987 to receive traffic alerts from the city.

Download WAZE or similar navigation apps to help determine the least congested route and help others by posting updates of conditions you encounter.

Consult https://bloomington.in.gov/inroads/events before you head out. 

Follow @CityBloomington to get road updates on Facebook.

Follow @BtownRoads on Twitter.

Watch traffic footage collected by City drone at the City’s YouTube channel

Consider walking or biking to work or for errands, using your bike or the bikeshare program (launching June 20).

Start or join a carpool.

Explore the possibilities of telecommuting and flex scheduling at your place of work.


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