Thea Digiammerino

DOT Considers Roundabout for Busy Newington Intersection

The Connecticut DOT is hoping a roundabout will relieve traffic congestion at the intersection of Fenn Road and Ella Grasso Boulevard in Newington.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has big plans for the Newington intersection at Fenn Road and Ella Grasso Boulevard. Plans they hope the residents of Newington will embrace.

The DOT held a public information meeting Tuesday in the Newington Senior Center to gather opinions about a proposed roundabout they hope to install in this intersection.

The DOT says the roundabout, similar to a rotary, could alleviate a problem many Newington residents deal with on a daily basis -- traffic congestion.

“They might have to slow down, there might be a couple cars that queue up but, in general, everyone flows in that circular pattern and nobody has to come to a complete stop,” explained Marissa Washburn, the transportation supervising engineer for the Connecticut DOT.

Those who travel on the Newington roads off Route 9 near CCSU know how bad it can be between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“I have a 5:55 p.m. class and I have to give myself like 35 minutes just to get down the street,” said Jamie Brown, a CCSU student who has to give herself extra time commuting to class.

Main arteries along the Route 175 corridor are slowed to an aggravating pace.

“It’s really hard to go from A to B. Probably something that takes five minutes to get through is going take you 20 minutes to get through,” said Newington resident Joe Margarido.

The DOT says the plan could also make the intersection safer by reducing what they describe as “angle” or “T-bone” crashes.

“There’s a high prevalence of angle crashes and some turning crashes as well,” said Washburn. “Those are the types of crashes that generally lead to a higher chance of injury.”

According to the DOT there have been nearly 60 crashes in that intersection over the past three years.

Not everyone though believes a roundabout is the solution to the problem.

“People aren’t as well versed in driving in a (roundabout) and I think it could possibly cause more accidents,” said Newington resident, Michele Zappala.

The DOT says because this is just in the planning process no funding plan is in place yet, but they expect up to 80 percent of it could be federally funded.

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