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The state Department of Transportation has laid out preliminary plans for an $11 million project to reconstruct Route 394 from Mayville north to Westfield.

Thomas Romano, DOT assistant regional design engineer, said plans also include upgrades within both villages.

"(The project) would also resurface Route 394 between the villages, and south of Mayville to Elmwood Avenue," Romano said. "We would also replace the bridge over Clear Creek, which is near the south project limit near Elmwood Avenue."

Romano and other officials met with more than 50 people at a public hearing Wednesday night in Chautauqua Lake Central School.

According to the DOT engineer, a primary concern expressed during the planning has been replacing trees that are in poor condition along the construction route, which is just over 6 miles long.

"We've had our landscape architects actually go out with village officials and do an inventory of trees, and there was an agreed-upon number of trees that were identified as being in poor condition, and those trees are (proposed) to be removed," he said. Romano added that three trees will be planted for every one removed in Mayville, and two trees for every one in Westfield.

Plans and drawings at the meeting included proposed detours while the road is rebuilt next year. Romano indicated that detours also have been a concern for the tourist industry.

"We're going to do everything we can to minimize the disruption of traffic," he said.

Also to be addressed during reconstruction of the state road is the Hogsback curve just south of Westfield at the top of Westfield Hill. Romano said a vacant house has to be razed.

"It's a residence, but it's not occupied. We've been in contact with the owner of that for years now, and in fact we have a letter from them, and they're in favor of us taking the building," he said.

"They realize that there's a safety problem there, and that there would be a big safety benefit in realigning the highway there."

DOT officials said written comments on the proposal will be accepted at their Buffalo office through Feb. 10. Romano said final plans should be completed by early 2002, with construction to begin that summer.

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