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Support grows for new Youngs Road Thruway interchange

WBFO file photo

As Williamsville drivers clamor for solutions to traffic congestion on Main Street, Congressman Brian Higgins said the State Thruway Authority needs to act.

The Village Board earlier this month unanimously voted to partner with Amherst, Erie County, state agencies and the NFTA to explore the idea of a new Youngs Road Thruway interchange.

Higgins, a Buffalo Democrat, said this concept might be the fix.

“Look, anything that would make the movement of traffic more efficient and effective for the people of Amherst and Williamsville, I think, is something that needs to be seriously looked at,” said Higgins. “There have been proposals over the last 10 years about relocation and if there’s a strong, compelling argument, it needs to be considered by the Thruway Authority.”

The state has already approved $8 million for improvements at the Williamsville toll barrier, but Higgins says more must be done, even suggesting that perhaps federal funding might be an option.

“We will be as helpful as we can relative to federal resources and looking at the analysis and also helping to facilitate a relocation if that’s what’s determined in the end.”

The proposed interchange has been the focus of debate for almost two decades. Village officials have repeatedly noted that Williamsville has neither the resources nor the authority to launch such a project. The suggested interchange would connect the Thruway to the village and to Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

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