State highway officials have made clear what will happen if construction of Interstate 69 is not included in a long-range Transportation Improvement Plan for Bloomington’s urbanized area: Federal funds for local highway projects will end.

The cutoff won’t be immediate. In answers to questions from the Bloomington/Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization, state officials said funds will be cut off if a long-range plan for fiscal years 2010-2013 expires without a new plan being approved that includes construction of the interstate highway in Monroe County.

Here are the exact words of the Indiana Department of Transportation, complete with bureaucratic acronyms: “INDOT expects that construction of I-69 sections 4 and 5 will be included in the BMCMPO’s TIP. If I-69 is not included in the TIP, the current TIP will expire and funds for federal transportation projects in the BMCMPO’s planning area will be cut off until the impasse ends. INDOT does not expect, and is not planning for, a scenario in which I-69 is omitted from the BMCMPO’s TIP.”

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