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The Thruway Authority says it will "continue to work in a cooperative manner" to ensure that the relocation of the Williamsville toll barrier to Newstead is done "professionally and responsibly."

In a letter to town officials, State Sen. Dale M. Volker, R-Depew, said he has held several conversations with Thruway Authority officials regarding the status of the relocation and the time frame in "bringing this matter to a mutual and agreeable conclusion."

"The process of moving a toll barrier is never an easy issue, and the Williamsville toll plaza proposed relocation is unfortunately no different," Volker said. "They have informed me that they are working diligently to bring this project to fruition."

Currently, several sites along the Thruway within an 18-mile corridor between the existing barrier in Williamsville and Exit 48A in Pembroke are being considered. The Thruway Authority is pursuing federal funds for the project.

"In the weeks ahead, I hope to meet at the appropriate time with representatives from the state Thruway Authority," he added. "It will continue to be my intention to ensure that this project moves expeditiously, in order to address operational and capacity concerns at the mainline toll barrier."

Preliminary data on the alternatives being studied in the draft environmental impact statement was discussed at a community meeting in March, and residents in Akron, Alden, Clarence, Lancaster, Pembroke and Newstead remain adamantly opposed.

The proposed project, residents contend, would damage the water table, devalue homes in the area and disturb the country atmosphere.

Both the Newstead Town Board and the Akron Village Board oppose the move.

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