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Public restrooms at Fourth Street Garage now open 24/7

The public restroom at the Fourth Street Garage in Bloomington

(Devan Ridgway/WTIU)

It’s been a long time coming, but Bloomington now has public restrooms downtown that will be open 24/7. 

The restrooms in the recently completed Fourth Street Garage have been open for use, but not overnight. That changed Tuesday. 

“Even though we had gotten the garage operational, we hadn’t gotten all the security functions and locking mechanisms line up perfectly,” said Adam Wason, the city’s director of public works. “(But) everything’s working, and we’re now fully operational.” 

There are two public restrooms open at the Fourth Street Garage, and two more at the Trades District Garage at 11th and Morton streets. 

Wason said plans for 24/7 public restrooms have been in the works since 2017. 

“As we were under design considerations for these garages, it was clear from a lot of residents, constituents and the city council and others that, hey, if we’re going to build these structures as public amenities, let’s put some public amenities in there, including the bathrooms,” Wason said. 

READ MORE: City installs, dedicates art at Fourth Street and Trades District garages

The Trades District Garage opened in April, and the Fourth Street Garage opened in August.  

Wason said the city monitors the garages throughout the day and will continue that overnight now that the restrooms are open 24/7. 

“The concerns are what you'd think they'd be,” Wason said. “We actually went for more industrial type fixtures and things like that. So, it's not going to be your nice porcelain toilet stool.” 

Wason said staff will have the ability to access the restrooms if they’re locked. 

“It’s not just the traditional, lock-it-from-the-inside,” Wason said. “If there’s an emergency or if someone tries to stay in there for an extended period of time, we’ve got the ability to announce ourselves (and go in).” 

The city has installed decorative art at both garages but is still looking for tenants for retail spaces on the ground floor.

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