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Drivers weigh in on new roundabout at deadly intersection

Drivers give mixed reviews

DeLAND, Fla. – All four legs are now open to traffic on the roundabout at State Road 44 and Grand Avenue and drivers are giving their input on if they feel any safer behind the wheel.

"I think traffic flows easy. It's just people getting used to it a little bit," Tom Londquist said.

"It does slow you down," Victoria Farr said.

Some drivers said they have mixed emotions and concerns about the $1.35 million traffic circle.

"I wasn't sure if it would work in a busy intersection like this," Trudy Cole said.

But Cole said after using it at least twice a day for work, she's had a change of heart.

"So far, it's working out great. It's much better to just kind of slow down, than have to stop for a stop light," she said.

"I think a light does the same thing," Paul Thomas said.

Thomas said the roundabout works for cars and trucks, but doesn't do much for any vehicle bigger than that.

"They're not good for tractors or trailers. They have a hard time getting around them with long trailers. They don't build them wide enough," he said.

"I think it's kind of ridiculous. I mean, it's right in the middle of the major road. Highway 44. There's enough accidents where people are drinking and driving and all of a sudden, you get someone sleepy. It's not a good situation," Ryan Fitzgerald said.

FDOT officials said it hasn't had any accidents in the area since construction started.

The roundabout was built because of a fatal accident last April, where a three-car crash killed a grandmother, Sandra Lopes, and her three granddaughters, Aryana Thomas, 2, Jadyn Thomas, 4, and Aleah Bridges, 4. Flower-covered memorials now stand just feet away.

FDOT said there could be traffic interruptions within the next two weeks as workers continue restriping and finish landscaping. The final project is expected to finish by Feb. 23.

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