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Bloomington Transit Could Lose Funding Over I-69

If INDOT does not approve the MPO's transportation improvement plan, federal funds to transportation plans in Monroe County would dry up.

Bloomington Transit could lose its funding if the state does not approve the city and county’s transportation improvement plans for the next five years, according to the Bloomington Monroe County Metropolitan Organization.

The MPO did not include I-69 in its most recent plan because of local opposition to the interstate.

The Indiana Department of Transportation has refused to approve that plan and any other plan that does not include I-69.

MPO Policy Committee Chairman and Bloomington Transit board member Kent McDaniel says if the committee does not come to a solution soon, funds for Bloomington Transit would disappear.

“I’m extremely concerned,” he says. “And it’s not just a possibility. If the TIP is not accepted by INDOT, we will definitely lose funding for Bloomington Transit. It won’t happen for a while. We will continue to get federal funding until June 2013, but after that it all dries up.”

The MPO plans to vote on the new transportation plan next month, but McDaniel says he does not know if a solution can be found anytime soon.

“We’re doing everything we can to try and figure it out, but I have no idea what’s going to happen,” McDaniel says.

The transportation plan that was previously approved did include right of way and engineering plans for I-69, so INDOT is considering that plan to be current and valid.

But that plan only runs through 2013, so if the MPO and INDOT do not agree on a new plan, federal funds for Bloomington, Elletsville and Monroe County transportation programs would stop.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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