Deering's Corner Roundabout

Project News

The roundabout is open! The City is planning a ribbon cutting ceremony for November 8, 2021 at 3:30 PM to celebrate the new roundabout but also unveil the new public art installation in the center of the roundabout. 

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About the Project

In April 2020, the City of Portland, in coordination with MaineDOT and the University of Southern Maine (USM), began construction on the Deering’s Corner Roundabout at the intersection of Brighton Avenue, Deering Avenue, and Falmouth Street. The former 6-leg signalized intersection has been converted to a 5-leg roundabout, with the segment of Brighton Avenue between the intersection and Bedford Street discontinued. The roundabout is improving traffic operations and safety by replacing the signal, which operated inefficiently and was confusing to road users, with a modern roundabout, which has eliminated long waits at red lights. A schematic plan for the roundabout is shown below.

Plan view image of the roundabout

Project History

In 2012, City Staff and the City Council met with the public to identify a solution that would make this intersection safer and more efficient for all users. The conclusion was to develop a design for a modern roundabout at the intersection of Brighton Avenue/Deering Avenue/Falmouth Street.  Since then, after numerous rounds of design, the project was advertised for bid in December 2019, and began construction in April 2020.

Project Purpose and Need

This 6-legged intersection, known for its long queuing lines of traffic, is located within the University of Southern Maine’s campus, Brighton Avenue, (State Route 25), is a major access into Portland for commuters as well as commercial and emergency vehicles. Deering Avenue, which also runs through the intersection, is a significant north-south connection between Congress Street and Woodford’s Corner.  Finally, Falmouth Street, while primarily residential, is one of the few continuous east-west streets connecting Saint John Street and Forest Avenue.  

There is significant pedestrian traffic at this intersection.  The neighborhood is, as a whole, fairly densely populated and within walking distance to numerous retail destinations. The USM Law School building is located on the southeast side of the intersection, where the main USM campus is located on the northeast side of the intersection.  The intersection is less than a half-mile from the King Middle School, Hadlock Field, and Deering Oaks Park to the south and the Back Cove, Hannafords Supermarket, and businesses on Forest Avenue to the northeast. Metro bus stops in the vicinity of the intersection are busy, and can result in platoons of pedestrians crossing the intersection. As a whole, pedestrian safety is of paramount importance at this complex intersection.

The MaineDOT had labeled this intersection as a High Crash Location (HCL) due to the large number of crashes that occur there. According to MaineDOT, the intersection of Brighton Avenue/Deering Avenue/Falmouth Street had 38 reported crashes, of which nine (9) resulted in personal injury, in the three (3) years before construction began.  The existing signalized intersection encourages fast speeds and potentially dangerous turning movements. The roundabout design significantly reduces the likelihood of serious crashes, as all vehicle traffic enters the roundabout at low speeds, with the most likely crash types being rear-end and sideswipe crashes, compared to right-angle or head-on crashes associated with signalized intersections.

Public Art

The Portland Public Art Committee (PPAC) identified the roundabout as a site for public artwork.  PPAC, which receives funding from the City independent of specific projects, worked with an artist to install an artistic sculpture in the center of the roundabout as the roundabout construction neared its completion in the summer/fall of 2021.  Visit the Public Art Committee webpage for more information.

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