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Bloomington Will Analyze Options For Repairing Brick Streets

The City of Bloomington will investigate repairing a 100-year-old section of Monroe Street with brick instead of paving it over. 

The Council agreed unanimously Monday night to direct staff to design, plan, and bid the repair of brick or replacing the street with new brick.  The move likely saved the 800 block of Monroe from being paved over with asphalt. 

East Grove Resident Gary Justis said he loves to see historic areas preserved. And Justis said he's glad millenials are showing interest in the city's historic districts.

"In my neighborhood alone, the number of young people pushing strollers has just increased remarkably within the last ten years," said Justis. "I'm astounded."

Staff estimate the brick street project will cost between $300,000 to $469,445. Staff said asphalt would actually cost more over time because it does not last as long. 

Justis said brick streets can also help slow traffic and create "safe zones" within the community.

"Traffic calming occurs with bridge streets and you don't need cul-de-sacs and other expensive features within a street if you have brick streets. It solves the problem," said Justis.

Justis added brick roads can enhance neighborhood beauty and encourage people to move in.

Members of the Historic Preservation Commission told the council the Public Works Department had not consulted with them before proposing a possible asphalt overlay. Justis said he hopes Public Works will communicate more with the preservation commission in the future.

Also Monday night, the council approved two contracts with Roe Construction for street projects excluding the section of Monroe. $2.18 million will go toward general street resurfacing and $1.6 million is slated for street and alley repairs. 

The Council also recognized Aldermen Kevin Lower and Jim Fruin for their dedication to the city. Fruin did not run for re-election. Lower lost to incumbent Tari Renner in the Mayoral election. 

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Mike joined GLT's staff as a student reporter in February of 2016 having worked previously as a reporter at Illinois State University's student radio station, 103.3 WZND. He acted as a director for the WZND newsroom for two years. Mike was also seen as a reporter, producer, and anchor at TV-10 News. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism in May of 2017 before starting his post-graduate career with the Public Affairs Reporting Masters Program at University of Illinois Springfield.