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For Immediate Release: June 26, 2006

THRUWAY AUTHORITY EXTENDS FORMAL COMMENT PERIOD FOR WILLIAMSVILLE TOLL BARRIER IMPROVEMENTS TO AUGUST 21
Williamsville Draft Environmental Impact Statement Available Online

The New York State Thruway Authority today announced that in an effort to seek as much public participation in the Williamsville Toll Barrier Improvement Project as possible, it has extended the formal comment period to Monday, August 21, 2006. Originally the comment period was scheduled to end on Monday, July 24, 2006.

“We cannot emphasize enough that continued community involvement throughout this process will help to ensure the preparation of a complete Final Environmental Impact Statement, and will play an important role in the selection of the preferred project alternative that best serves the needs of the area,” said Thruway Authority Executive Director Michael R. Fleischer.

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) identifies the preferred alternative, which is to relocate the barrier from its present location to the Town of Newstead, Erie County, between Thruway Interchanges 48A and 49.

The DEIS is posted on the Authority’s website at www.nysthruway.gov. Simply click on “Williamsville Improvements” under “Projects and Studies.” Once on the project website, please click on “Project Draft EIS.”

In addition, complete sets of the seven-volume Williamsville Toll Barrier Improvement Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (WTB DEIS), including a CD copy of the document, are available for review and copying through the following repository sites: the Alden Town Clerk’s Office and Alden Ewell Free Library; the Amherst Town Clerk’s Office; the Cheektowaga Town Clerk’s Office and Cheektowaga Public Library Anna M. Reinstein Branch; the Clarence Town Clerk’s Office and Clarence Public Library; the Lancaster Town Clerk’s Office and Lancaster Public Library; the Newstead Town Clerk’s Office and Newstead Public Library; the Pembroke Town Clerk’s Office and Corfu Free Library; the Williamsville Branch- Amherst Public Library; the Thruway Authority Buffalo Division Offices; and Leo W. O'Brien Federal Building in Albany, New York.

In accordance with Federal Regulations and Article 8 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law, the Authority will host a Public Hearing on Tuesday, July 11, 2006 at the Akron Central High School, 47 Bloomingdale Avenue, Akron, New York 14001, starting at 7 p.m. To provide the public with additional information and an opportunity to speak with Authority representatives, an informal Open House will be held at the same location and date from 5-7 p.m. preceding the formal Public Hearing.

In addition, due to scheduled local construction, the Authority would like to provide an alternate set of directions to the Akron High School.

Directions from the East: Thruway Interchange 48A (Pembroke, Medina). Turn right onto Route 77. Turn right onto Route 5. Turn right on Crittenden Road. Proceed North 2.4 Miles. Turn left on Bloomingdale Avenue. The school will be on the left.

Directions from the West: Thruway Interchange 49 (Depew, Lockport). Turn left onto Route 78. Turn right onto Route 5. Turn left onto Route 93. Follow Route 93 into the Village of Akron. Turn right onto John Street. Stay on John Street. Turn left onto Bloomingdale. The school will be on the right.

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