O’Brien’s Corner funding on hold in Agawam

Hampden County

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – A complicated Agawam intersection won’t be getting any less confusing any time soon, thanks to action taken by the mayor and the Agawam City Council Monday night.

Agawam Mayor William Sapelli withdrew a city council resolution to borrow $1.1 million to improve O’Brien’s Corner.  O’Brien’s Corner is where Springfield Street, North Street, and Maple Street all converge with several staggered traffic lights.

That asymmetrical junction often results in long waits at red lights, and had been considered for an upgrade since the previous administration.

“It’s been on the docket for about a year,” Sapelli told 22News.  “The Engineering Department did a really nice job designing it.”

But Sappelli said he and the city council must weigh the importance of this project against others that require action in town.  He went on to list several projects Agawam needs to address, including storm water overflow, for which compliance is required by the Clean Water Act.

He also said there are sewer issues and several streets and sidewalks that need attention.

He said he wants to slow down before the city puts $1.1 million out to bond.  And he said that doesn’t even include $500,000 in Chapter 90 money or an additional $400,000 needed to pay for the ‘O’Brien’s Corner Complete Streets Improvement Project.’

“That whole project would cost us $2 million, so I just wanna slow down and take a good look and make sure that we’re gonna fund the proper projects,” Sapelli said. “And if we’re gonna do bonding, we do it for the right reasons, and for the right projects.”

Sapelli took office as mayor of Agawam on January 2 of this year. He added that he wants to take some time before committing the cash.

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