Sullivan Says New Church, Possible Marijuana Shop and Amazon Justify New Route 125 Traffic Study

Participating in a Farrwood Drive discussion in 2020 were, from left to right, Ryan Dekeon of Rep. Linda Dean Campbell’s office, Sen. Diana DiZoglio, City Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan, Rep. Andy X. Vargas, mayoral aide Shawn P. Regan and property owner Katie Pikus. (WHAV News photograph.)

The state has historically denied placing traffic lights at Farrwood Drive and busy Route 125 in Haverhill, but a city councilor says a new church building, the arrival of Amazon and a proposed marijuana retailer along that stretch justifies another look.

Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan brought together Farrwood Drive neighbors, the city’s legislative delegation and mayor’s office yesterday morning to help bring traffic relief to the 500 households in the neighborhood.

“Those are three new arguments that can be made to the state as to why they should consider putting a traffic signal at this very dangerous intersection,” Sullivan told the group.

The Armenian Apostolic Church at Hye Pointe consolidated over the last few years at 1280 Boston Road, Haverhill. A special permit request by Frosty Nug for a proposed adult-use marijuana shop at 1181 Boston Road goes before the City Council Sept. 29. Amazon also plans a five-story storage and distribution building down the street at 1600 Osgood St., North Andover. The company said it expects to employ at least 1,500 full-time workers at the former Lucent Technologies site.

Mayoral spokesman Shawn P. Regan said the state Transportation Department conducted traffic counts many years ago, but Mayor James J. Fiorentini is asking for another study.

Filling potholes and repaving the street, however, may prove more elusive since the street remains privately owned and Farrwood Drive households are not all members of the same condominium association. Katie Pikus, a member of one of the condominium boards said the roads are a mess.

“Every year, every fall, we’re dealing with these potholes that literally are a foot deep. There’s no lighting. I know it because I drive it, but if people don’t know the area, you’re going to knock your tires out,” she explained.

Sullivan said the best solution for repairs is for the various associations and other neighbors to pool the money to pay for a new road. There is also a less likely option.

“Ideally, and I know this is a long shot, it would be great if the state could do a one-time appropriation to the City of Haverhill to get this whole thing done and then the city could accept it as a public way,” Sullivan said.

Adding to the confusion is that, despite the street being private, some residents receive city-paid trash collection, while the associations pay thousands of dollars each year for dumpsters.

Sen. Diana DiZoglio suggested breaking the problem into two parts and proceeding with the traffic light.

“Let’s get started with phase one. Get that study back, work with the mayor’s office, work with the city councilors, work with Councilor Sullivan, work with the state delegation,” she said.

Besides DiZoglio, other legislators present were Reps. Linda Dean Campbell and Andy X. Vargas. Attending on behalf of Rep. Christina Minicucci was aide Hannah Dudley.

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