“We are excited to approve an additional 51 bus stops this summer and continue to push for 100% ADA compliance within our system," chairman Ryan Whitehouse said in a statement. "This has been a very important priority for the trustees and this is another giant step towards achieving that goal."
Eighteen stops will receive concrete pads to support Simme-Seat benches, but none of the 51 stops will have enclosures added to them, maintenance manager Brady Lange told the board Tuesday.
The $206,090-project will be handled by local contractor JG Stewart Contractors, Inc. Construction is expected to start this summer.
All costs are covered by funding awarded to Connect-Transit through the Illinois Department of Transportation via a Rebuild Illinois capital grant and the Downstate Operating Assistance Program.
Tuesday's approval comes as the next phase in Connect Transit's ongoing push to make all 607 of its stops ADA-compliant by 2024.
That goal, called the Better Bus Stops for Bloomington-Normal campaign, was launched in 2018. Since then nearly 100 stops have been updated to make them accessible by riders living with disabilities.
The 51 Bloomington stops are part of at least 100 that are scheduled to be improved in the city and the town of Normal this fall and in spring 2022.
"I applaud Connect Transit’s initiative as they move toward 100% ADA compliance by 2024," Bloomington Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe said in a statement. "It’s just one more example of how Bloomington is going from good to great."
A concrete worker from Local 18 in Bloomington casts a long shadow as he finishes a sidewalk and wheelchair ramp Wednesday in front of Wesley West, 413 E. Washington St. in Bloomington. The ramp and sidewalk modification were being done for Connect Transit to correct a height elevation difference that was difficult for wheelchair users to navigate. Wesley West is the outreach center for the nearby Wesley United Methodist Church.