The Town of Brookhaven has approved funding for a new roundabout at the busy Five Corners intersection in Ronkonkoma, a move the town says will improve safety in an area that has four schools, a community center, a church and a park nearby.
The intersection, where Hawkins Avenue, Smith Road, Schoolhouse Road and Gatelot Avenue all meet, had an accident rate four times higher than the statewide average for similar intersections between July 2007 and July 2009, according to a traffic study conducted by the town.
At the United Methodist Church of Lake Ronkonkoma, located at the corner of Schoolhouse Road and Hawkins Avenue, the Rev. Constance Pak said commuters have come to learn what to expect and “just deal with it.”
But one congregant at the church, Elise Bornschein of Ronkonkoma, wondered if emergency vehicles would be able to quickly pass through the roundabout during peak hours. Others were concerned that drivers may be unfamiliar with driving through a traffic circle.
The project, approved by the Brookhaven town board in January, will include new sidewalks with pathways between the intersection approaches that comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Traffic signals currently at the intersection will be removed.
Brookhaven spokesman Jack Krieger said full details of the plans would be available to the public at a town meeting once they are completed. Construction is to begin in September.