IN: Bloomington City Council OKs Additional $1 Million for Bus Station

An additional $1 million was appropriated for the new downtown bus transfer station Wednesday night.

The Bloomington City Council unanimously approved the request from Bloomington Transit, along with another $500,000 or so for a new bus and to cover the costs of the bus tracker technology.

Lew May, general manager for Bloomington Transit, explained that most of the extra funding for the transit center comes from change orders totaling $644,000. The $410,777 in other additional costs included design costs, expanding the footprint of the project, including public art at the facility and the testing of materials.

The new bus transfer station, on the corner of Third and Walnut streets, is expected to open next month and will have about 10,000 square feet of space. It will include seating areas, bike lockers, bike racks, public restrooms and wi-fi inside the building for riders.

The change orders included removing fuel storage tanks, environmental testing, soil removal and replacement, passenger canopies, project delay expenses and removal of a concrete basement, boiler and rubble.

May explained that a gas station used to sit on the site, and some fuel storage tanks had previously been removed. There was no record showing that additional tanks were below the building on the property, but once crews started excavating, eight or nine tanks of various types were found, with several leaking.

"We had no indication that there were any tanks underneath the building," May said.

May said the only way they could have known about the tank was to damage the building foundation.

To remove those, along with some soil, and to conduct environmental tests, cost $188,367, but May said they are hoping to recoup some of that from the gas station.

"We think that the previous gas station owners may have some liability in this issue," May said.

Another $152,097 was spent on soil removal and replacement. May said this went toward the space where the buses will park, which requires a certain amount of stability to accommodate the weight of the buses.

"The stability of the soil wasn't quite what we were expecting," May said.

Most of the additional costs were design-related. May said before the proposal went to the Bloomington Plan Commission, there was more metal and glass included instead of limestone.

"That also brought with it some additional design costs," May said.

May said he's hoping the roughly $1 million appropriated for construction will be more than enough to complete the project.

"We tried to build in a little bit of cushion into that number," May said.

The remaining $500,000 will purchase a new 40-foot bus to serve the Indiana University campus and will also fund bus tracker technology, which allows riders to download an app on their smartphones to track bus locations.

The $1.5 million appropriation came from Bloomington Transit's reserve fund, which has about $4 million remaining in it. May said the fund is usually used to cover the costs of new buses. Bloomington Transit's budget is separate from the city's, with funding coming from the state and federal government, the property tax levy, a contract with Indiana University and passenger fares.

Bus station's added expenses

Major change orders

$188,367: Tank removal, soil removal and replacement, environmental testing.

$152,097: Soil stability for where buses will park.

$134,714: Extra cost for passenger canopies.

$59,890: Extra expense for project delay.

$46,163: Removing concrete basement, boiler, rubble.

Other additional costs

$231,716: Design expenses (adding more limestone, increasing footprint, changing the roof structure).

$52,880: Public art.

$41,720: Materials testing.


Copyright 2014 - Herald-Times, Bloomington, Ind.

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