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Selectman: New rotary would prevent crashes at dangerous Rehoboth intersection

SE Mass

REHOBOTH, Mass. (WPRI) ─ In a few years, Rehoboth residents can expect a new traffic pattern at what the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has deemed a “high crash location.”

The change, which will convert the intersection where Routes 44 and 118 meet into a rotary, has been in the works for years, according to Selectman and Highway Superintendent Michael Costello.

Costello said the intersection, which is crossed by more than 20,000 cars daily, can be confusing and dangerous for drivers and pedestrians.

“It’s very confusing at the intersection right now because of the alignment of the intersection and the way the lines are painted, it’s a danger,” Costello said. “We have many crashes there that could be avoided if things were changed.”

The town received an update from MassDOT on the plans to build the rotary at a public meeting earlier this week.

Some residents have expressed concerns about how a rotary could end up doing more harm than good.

Eyewitness News spoke to several residents who live in the area who said they can’t picture a rotary fitting where the intersection is now.

Costello believes the installation of a rotary is the best solution.

“When the lights green, they’re traveling 50 miles an hour through the intersection, and when someone’s trying to turn, that’s a terrible crash if it happens,” Costello explained. “A roundabout will slow you down to 15-20 miles an hour. So if there’s a crash within the roundabout, it’s going to be a lot more minor than a 50 or 60 mile an hour crash.”

Construction on the new rotary should begin in 2021 and will be completely funded by MassDOT.

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