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HEARING SET ON PLANS TO WIDEN N. FOREST ROAD

Residents who live along North Forest Road in Amherst will learn Monday about new plans to widen a one-mile section of the county road.

John Loffredo, Erie County commissioner of public works, will brief the Amherst Town Board on the project at 4:40 p.m. in Town Hall. The public is welcome to attend.

Amherst Council Member Peggy Santillo has told the residents to brace for bad news. Mrs. Santillo said she has been told unofficially the revised road-renovation project still calls for widening the road beyond residents' wishes.

Most residents want two 12-foot lanes and 2-foot shoulders on each side, or 28 feet of width. The road now is 22 to 24 feet wide with no paved shoulders.

Mrs. Santillo said the county may propose a width more than 30 feet between Sheridan Drive and Maple Road.

She worked with the neighbors to organize Monday's briefing.

"We want to keep this a nice road," said Robert Hochberg of 1075 North Forest. "For now, all we can do is wait until we hear what they come up with. We have to be patient."

Hochberg, a leader of the neighborhood residents' protest against widening plans, said the group will decide its next move after learning about the plan Monday.

An earlier proposal called for a 40-foot width, including an addition of a center turning lane. But the state and county transportation planners later removed the center turning lane from the plans.

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