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Why Connecticut Route 6 remains a “suicide route”

An 11-mile stretch of Connecticut roadway officially known as Route 6 has a notorious history. The road segment in question runs from Bolton to Columbia and has been the site of 30 fatal motor vehicle accidents over the course of 25 years. Due to its grim record, the roadway became known as the Suicide Route.

Upgrades and improvements to enhance Route 6 safety

In response to the high rate of motor vehicle accidents along the Suicide Route, various upgrades and improvements were implemented along that stretch of roadway. These so-called safety enhancements included:

  • Widening the roadway
  • Flattening the road
  • Straightening Route Six
  • Clearing sight lines
  • Installing new turn lanes

Enhancements appeared to work, until they didn’t

The upgrades and enhancements intended to improve safety and lower the rate of motor vehicle crashes along Route 6 appeared to have been effective. From 2017 through 2020, there were no fatal accidents along the infamous roadway. That all ended about two weeks into 2021 when yet another fatal accident occurred on the stretch of Route 6 in question. Less than two weeks after that deadly crash another fatal motor vehicle accident occurred along the Suicide Route.

Abandoning Route 6

Since the 1960s, a debate has been ongoing about eliminating the “deadly stretch” or Route 6 completely. One idea that appears to being gaining at least some traction again is replacing the stretch of Route 6 that has seen innumerable accidents with an expressway.

The construction of an expressway is not necessarily something that will be quick in coming. Plans for such an expressway have been defeated through the years, including because of concerns about the environmental impact of such a project.