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Bloomington Mayor Hamilton: Third Street Should Reopen Friday

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton says 3rd street should be open to traffic by the end of the week, but construction on Lincoln will continue at least a few more weeks.

"This intersection was really a catastrophe waiting to happen, so we're glad it's getting fixed," Hamilton says.

An engineering inspection last week discovered the infrastructure supporting the road is structurally unsound and unsafe for traffic. The intersection is directly over a 16-foot-wide storm sewer built to accommodate the underground Jordan River. A city spokesperson says the inspection was part of an evaluation of the stormwater infrastructure beneath the intersection. The statement says other areas of the storm sewer were improved between 2001 and 2005.

"We got an email from the inspector who said, 'I can't send you my formal report yet but I just got out and I don't think any vehicles should be on top of that. I don't know how it is holding up all the vehicles,'" Hamilton says. "Twenty years ago was the last formal inspection of that, in 1997, and at that time the inspector said, 'It's okay but it should be fixed within five years,' and it hadn't been inspected since then."

Hamilton says construction crews will scrape the asphalt away and re-build a bridge on top of the stormwater infrastructure.

The utilities department will evaluate other areas of the Jordan River stormwater infrastructure to determine a more extensive renovation plan.

"It's fortunate that nobody got hurt," Hamilton says. "We hate for the inconvenience but, of course, that safety comes first."

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