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Improving Bloomington's Oldest Underground Infrastructure: Clear Creek Culvert Project

Thomas Gott and his crew broke ground on February 5, 2024, to continue their improvements to Bloomington’s oldest underground infrastructure. The Clear Creek Culvert Reconstruction Project will improve storm water drainage and utility infrastructure in the downtown Bloomington area from Dunn Street to Indiana Avenue, fully updating the circa-1900 tunnel to current standards and preparing the municipal separate storm sewer for many years to come. This key phase of the project will take place throughout February and will be substantially completed by early August in anticipation of Indiana University students returning to campus. 

In 2021, Thomas and his crew started the first phase of this project, and successfully reconstructed over 1,829 feet of culvert and sanitary sewer systems by 2023 to support Bloomington’s vibrant downtown as well as the continued growth of Indiana University. Although the city has already repaired much storm water infrastructure under downtown Bloomington in the past 20 years, this phase of reconstruction was essential to prevent flooding and potential structure failures. The previous infrastructure was inadequate for the volume of storm water downtown Bloomington was experiencing. The new culverts placed have twice the capacity of those previous. 

This project is unique for Superintendent Thomas Gott, and team because crew members work underground to update the culvert and leave lasting effects for the community.  Through the three years of work on this project, the team has had no safety incidents, which is a testament to the team’s continued dedication to safety.

“What made this project one of the most unique I’ve worked on is that this tunnel went through homeowner’s backyards, business parking lots, through a park and around four different buildings," said Tommy. “Because of this we were able to develop many close relationships with the community members of Bloomington.” 

As our crew continues its updates to Bloomington’s infrastructure, we will work closely with all directly affected individuals and businesses, including Indiana University, to minimize the impacts of such a major project. There will be road closures on Dunn Street and Indiana at different phasing operations, and the alley behind Von Lee building will be occupied for new construction. A map is provided below. 

We will communicate and provide as much access to business owners in the area throughout the project. The coordination between community members and the City of Bloomington is critical to bringing this job to fruition. We are grateful for the support and partnership we received during the 2021-2023 portion.  Stay tuned as we take you through each phase of the project!

2/13/2024 Removal of Old Tunnel  

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