AMHERST, N.Y. - The state Thruway Authority has spent about $6 million to study the move of the Williamsville toll barrier, over a 10-year time period.
The Thruway Authority has decided that making the move, would be too expensive.
So what about the money that's already been spent?
U.S. Representative Brian Higgins, (D - 26th District) says it's time for the Thruway Authority to pay that money back to the feds or make a move that could help both taxpayers and drivers.
Donna Luh, the vice-chair of the Thruway Authority's Board of Directors says "wait" and that taxpayers won't get burned.
Higgins disagrees and says his proposal is reasonable, since the agency was paid to do something and it didn't happen. But, the Thruway Authority responds saying that $6 million from the agency could be used to upgrade the Williamsville toll barrier.
"The $6 million would be put to good use, and we certainly could use the jobs in this area," said Luh.
In the short term, construction jobs would be created if one proposal is approved of adding a medium speed lane that would boost the speed limit from five miles per hour to 35.
Higgins said if the federal government allows the Thruway Authority to keep the money: "I am going to make sure that I do everything I can as a federal official working with the Federal Highway Administration, to make sure that's not granted unless or until they remove or create the toll free zone between exit 49 and 50," Higgins said.
Exit 49 and 50 are the Transit Road exits.
Higgins and many local officials want a 15 cent toll for EZPass drivers at Transit Road dropped, to save taxpayers and at the same time, help drivers move faster and relieve congestion.
"I think it would also speed cars through quicker, it would reduce the time for cars at exit 49 to get through exit 50," said Barry Weinstein, the supervisor of the Town of Amherst.
The Thruway Authority says they're talking with the FHA about whether the money should be repaid. If the toll is waived for EZ Pass riders at Transit Road, then the Thruway Authority would need to save money from somewhere else.
The authority won't move the barrier, because the authority is looking at making all tolls statewide electronic and that this is a higher priority than relocating any toll barriers.
This plan, however, would cut jobs for toll collectors in the future.