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Bloomington intersection closes, deemed ‘structurally unsound’

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) – A busy intersection in downtown Bloomington is shut down as city leaders say it is “unsafe for traffic.”

During a recent inspection, engineers found structural issues with the intersection of 3rd Street and Lincoln Street. The intersection was shut down immediately and will remain closed until repairs are made. A city spokesperson said that will be at least a week.

“That’s a busy thoroughfare. I always see a lot of cars, a lot of busses going through just to get to the other side of town essentially,” said Melody Lynch-Kinery, a Bloomington resident.

They are necessary repairs, but some fear the closure could have a major impact on traffic downtown and local businesses.

“We were told yesterday that obviously they had to take care of some problem. They closed down, blocked the road… and we started seeing the effects yesterday,” said an employee at Turkuaz Café.

Turkuaz Café is located on the northeast corner of 3rd and Lincoln.

“On Fridays, usually we do quite a bit of business. We get about, gosh, within an hour we get about 20 or 25 tickets. Today, all day we have had about only 15 tickets all day,” said the employee.

He said the closure makes it tougher for people to get to the cafe. Drivers say it’s also causing additional backups in the area.

The intersection is over a 16-foot-wide storm sewer that was not part of an infrastructure upgrade project about 10 years ago.

“They are trying to do everything they can to help out, but I know for sure our business will be impacted basically tremendously with this,” said the employee.

According to a city spokesperson, the repairs needed are beyond the scope of what city employees can do so an outside contractor will be hired.

As of Friday, the city did not have an estimate on how much the project will cost.

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