Six Corners Roundabout

Aerial view of six corners roundabout with sun setting

A rare tornado ripped through multiple areas of western Massachusetts and downtown Springfield suffered major damage. Its landmark Six Corners neighborhood was particularly hit hard, including the namesake six-legged intersection in the center of the neighborhood.

In the wake of this natural disaster, the City recognized an opportunity to address the redesign of the intersection, which was plagued with confusing geometry, numerous accidents, long delays, and concerns for pedestrians. The City looked for ways to maximize the limited funding available for the reconstruction of the area to include a sensible and cost-effective approach to the intersection.

six corners roundabout before

Unique Design

Fuss & O’Neill was hired by the City of Springfield to evaluate potential solutions to the many issues posed by the unique intersection. Initially, more than a dozen conceptual designs were developed and reviewed. The uniqueness of this location, Six Corners, resulted in the design of a six-legged roundabout.

The unique six-legged roundabout design, the first of its size in New England in a condensed urban area, balanced complex geometry challenges that resulted from the locations of four streets, surrounding properties and businesses, and the adjacent Gerrish Park. Right-of-way and space in general were severely limited in this urban area.

The design was refined multiple times to maximize existing rights-of-way and meet applicable roundabout design criteria for entrance and exit angles. These challenges brought about an innovative solution to an urban roundabout.

Road and street signs at six corners roundabout

Fuss & O’Neill’s transportation engineers modeled the proposed roundabout geometry in Torus (a computer program specifically for roundabouts). Once the two-dimensional geometry was developed, the alignments and roadway layout information were integrated into our AutoCAD Civil3D model for the development of final design documents.

Public Outreach

Our team understood that thoughtful reconstruction and acceptance of a new design would be best served with a robust public outreach approach. We coordinated with the Springfield Department of Public Works and the Maple High-Six Corners Neighborhood Council to connect with the surrounding neighborhoods.

Sensitivity to the needs of residents was an iterative process of listening to and incorporating concerns, as well as educating the community on the merits of a roundabout and why it was appropriate for the area. Western Massachusetts has many antiquated rotaries with large diameters and high traffic speeds, making them particularly unsafe for pedestrians. By emphasizing the benefits of a roundabout (speed reduction, traffic calming, lower delays, and safer pedestrian corridors) and explaining the differences between roundabouts and rotaries, public fears were calmed.

Utilizing this critical feedback from local stakeholders and the Neighborhood Council, the Fuss & O’Neill team created a design that was supported by the community and one that would make their neighborhood safer, more assessable, and more aesthetically pleasing.

Safety Improvements

The design and implementation of the Six Corners roundabout has created:

  • A safer traffic flow, which benefits both vehicular and pedestrian travel.
  • A more-efficient traffic flow that reduces vehicle delays at the intersection and improves traffic flow through the area. The low-speed design of the roundabout reduces overall vehicle speeds in the corridor, not just at the intersection itself.
  • A more aesthetically pleasing design. Our team incorporated landscaping in the center of the roundabout and used nearby Gerrish Park as an inspiration for the landscape design, bringing a valuable change to an aging area in need of a catalyst. This intersection also serves as a gateway to Springfield College, and these improvements welcome students, faculty, and visitors.



  • ACEC/MA Engineering Silver Excellence Award Winner
  • MassDOT Consultant Innovation Award

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