Minister pressing NCC over east-west arterial

| 24/10/2019 | 70 Comments
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): The minister with responsibility for infrastructure, Joey Hew, has said government is in talks with the National Conservation Council over plans to extend the East-West Arterial Road to Bodden Town. With mounting congestion during the morning and evening commute for residents east of George Town, the minister said efforts by police to direct and divert traffic, which he claimed had improved things, were not sustainable and the extension was needed to solve the problem long term.

Hew said that roadworks already underway and others due to start soon in the Grand Harbour area were designed to alleviate the morning and evening traffic jams in the pinch points around the Hurley’s Roundabout and the Prospect areas.

“People will see that we have paved a few areas, we have expanded a few more lanes and we are working our hardest to minimise the amount of time commuters have to spend in traffic,” he said.

“We have to appreciate and extend our gratitude to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service for the work that they have been doing over the last couple of weeks in the mornings. We can all agree that it has been a tremendous help in the morning commute but that is not sustainable so we are here looking at some of the plans that we have in the short-, medium- and long-term to ease the challenges in the mornings and in the evenings returning east,” Hew said, as he visited some of the sites last week.

Hew said that the goal is to get the East-West Arterial extension completed up to Lookout Gardens, and the ministry would continue discussions with the National Conservation Council to do what is necessary to get their approval so that construction on the road could proceed.

This road proposal went before the NCC some three years ago which concluded in its screening that an EIA would be needed. The concerns relate not just to the direct impact on the central mangrove wetlands an important eco-system but the potential for exacerbating flooding and undermining drainage.

While that road remains a more long-term goal, the immediate problem is addressing the bottleneck around the Kings, Grand Harbour and Red Bay roundabouts, and work is underway on Shamrock Road, where the lane flow is being reversed to have two westbound lanes and one lane heading east. At the Red Bay roundabout, a third westbound lane is being added to take motorists directly to South Sound.

Side roads, including Selkirk Drive and Abbey Way, are also being improved, with crews raising the level of the road two and a half feet above sea level, adding drainage and paving the area.

Premier Alden McLaughlin, whose constituency of Red Bay is particularly impacted by the congestion, accompanied Hew on the visit to the roadwork sites with other government officials. “I think things are coming along quite well,” he said.

Drivers have had a little reprieve this week with the schools on half-term break, but the traffic is expected to return in full Monday. The police are therefore planning another new diversion at the Hurley’s Roundabout Monday evening in an effort to keep traffic moving at that junction. Officers will be preventing traffic entering the roundabout from South Sound Road and traffic heading west from Shamrock Road from leaving at the Grand Harbour entrance.

See the full details of the new diversion here


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Category: Local News

Comments (70)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why is Selkirk Drive being completely redone Joey? Couldn’t have anything to do with a certain set of 3/4 million dollar condos being constructed down there, could it?

  2. Geek says:

    You can follow the traffic congestion easily by Google Maps. All the phones sendingGPS signals can be useful. Just request directions and the time and delays pop up. After a couple of days it is quite obvious that the fundamentally single road through 3 roundabouts is the bottleneck. Everyone from the east funnels to this spot. Curiously Shamrock at Northward is also one of the first places to back up and show red in the morning. You can follow the red as it develops in the roundabouts and moves west as the load of traffic clears Hurley’s and backs up Linford Pierson. I pity the person leaving Bodden Town at 6:30 as they are in the wad of traffic that first backs up getting to Hurley’s and then once they get to Hurley’s backs up going past the airport.
    Could there be a way to connect neighborhoods east to west? Many of the developments are single roads running north to south, side by side or even sea fan type developments that funnel to a single entrance on Shamrock. The old fashioned concept of a town is lattice grids to disperse traffic rather than funnel. Small connections between north south only neighborhoods will allow school buses to (mostly) stay off the main roads.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How about installing a reliable bus service to transport people to and from their place of work just like every other country in the world. This, together with school busses, will definitely reduce traffic on the road between 7am and 10am. Make this mandatory at this time of day. This isn’t rocket science people, it’s common sense! In London they issue a traffic congestion charge for vehicles entering the city, maybe they need to start this in Cayman if people refuse to use the public service vehicles at this time of day. You can’t keep installing new roads and still allowing more than necessary, vehicles per household to enter the island. You are going to sink into the sea!!

    • Anonymous says:

      So many times we have had to explain what is needed for a reliable and effective bus service, island-wide.

      In order for passengers at any bus stop to board a bus, the buses must run to a timetable, and run whether they are full or empty. But in order to convince a bus driver/owner to run their bus full or empty, they would have to be compensated the same amount, irrespective of passenger numbers. That is likely to happen only if government or big business takes ownership, of the entire bus fleet, and take responsibility for effective operation, and pay a living wage to drivers. Without that intervention, buses will run as often as the driver/owner feels it is in their interest to do so (like now), which means they leave East End full and have no space to pick up anyone in Savannah or Grand Harbour.

      The bus routes can’t be everywhere. So there will need to be facilities to park & ride, secure locations to park bikes/cars and have covered waiting areas, for passengers and buses. Also clean/stocked/secure restrooms for all.

      And many more items to address. Until there’s the public/govt/corporate will to invest and run, we will continue to have a 3rd world transport arrangement.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If the east/west arterial is to be extended and extra traffic is to be dumped on it they better twin up the lanes the whole way. Right now there is absolutely no way to get past the slow moving trucks, construction equipment or people dawdling along while playing on their phones.

  5. Anonymous says:

    They’ll never figure it out.not one of them is bright enough

  6. Anonymous says:

    Being that there is no more UDP vs. PPM….maybe the people can now move on to vote more consciously….2021 Cayman….there is good people that is trying to get an opportunity to help run your country…

    • Anonymous says:

      We still need to enact SIPL, and change rules to eliminate requirement for party affiliation, and renouncing of archaic 2nd passport/Caymanian granny rules. There are lots of capable, educated Caymanians, that could otherwise serve their country, that wouldn’t be in it for personal enrichment or advancement, but for the service. We need people like that now, more than ever – having all seen what we’ve seen over the last few decades.

  7. Anonymous says:

    step 1: admit that joey or nobody else in cig has the expertise to tackle this issue.
    step 2:bring in international consultants asap.

  8. Anonymous says:

    1:50 Well said. I hope they extend Rev. Blackman Road in West Bay. This has been part of the NRA Roads Plan for decades. Don’t wait until north bound traffic on WB Road stall from the 4 way junction to Yacht Club roundabout.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I don’t want to see police on the road controlling traffic, it is not their job. I want to see them catching these people on their cell phones and speedsters on the road. I appreciate what the RCIPS has been doing however, I don’t think it is working. My commute is still the same if not worst when police are “managing” the traffic.

    How about have the schools starting on different times? Pretty sure it will help. When schools are off, there is no traffic! Think about it!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Getting close to election time so need to get this sorted for Premier and flip flop Austin. Every road and side road in that area will be paved by then. (Probably twice.)-CMTSU.

    • Anonymous says:

      Austin Harris is what you get when you elect blowhard radio talk show hosts who beat women. No one should be surprised that he’s a flip-flopper.

  11. Anonymous says:

    why aren’t they extending Linford Pierson into town it stops right before the equestrian place like someone said its being held off because they want to ride their little horseys……

  12. Anonymous says:

    Sigh. We are doomed.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Selkirk Drive? What in the hell does that have to do with the traffic? Better be taking down that death trap church wall while they are there at least.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Decentralize George Town, have some government offices in the Eastern Districts, and let school begin at 8:30am. The population is increasing and were seeing the effects. More roads won’t necessarily stop the congestion.

  15. Anonymous says:

    What a load of toss. Knew for years they needed to do this now trying to work around the process. Shameful.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Large and professionally driven public buses, affordable and metered taxi service and an adequate ferry provision across the North Sound to many different ports of call, starting at first light.
    This isn’t rocket science people, get more cars off the road by making public transport more efficient, safe and affordable for all, including the growing number of tourists who are forced towards car hire in ever increasing numbers.

  17. Anonymous says:

    How about do the cut through from Selkirk as promised. You already have the NRA there.
    More business for Grand Harbour and takes a moves a load of traffic further down the equation as well as eliminating the very dangerous exit from Selkirk.

    • Anonymous says:

      More business or several hundred inconsiderate drivers speeding through a pedestrian area? I think the second. Keep on your side of the road. You showed your true colours each time you destroyed private property separating you and us.

      • Anonymous says:

        Compulsory acquisitions a b!tch but coming soon

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually,m the plan was to route the ‘bypass’ behind Hurleys, i.e., avoid the pedestrian area, but some developer convinced some Government it wasn’t needed across the top of their fancy canal/commercial development. Oh well. Good thing they kept the WB road corridor through the Hyatt, etc. or we’d have TWO bottle necks. (Stupidly removing the road in front of the now Kimpton has created the second but oh well, can’t fix stupid greed.)

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree, as a resident of Selkirk Drive we are screwed going both ways as we are located in the middle of the two roundabouts that are having the issues. In the mornings if we want to go west, we must go east first and get stopped twice by the traffic officers as the Prospect and East-West Arterial traffic has preference. I am not sure what the solution is for the residents of Selkirk but I do hope that one is found soon.

  18. Anonymous says:

    None of this nonsense does anything to address the bottlenecks.
    #firejoey

  19. Anonymous says:

    No surprises here.

    We need the road.

    We need someone to blame.

    So, expect it!

  20. Anonymous says:

    This is what happens when Ministers are appointed that can’t read or don’t follow their Ministry’s development plan, and prefer to go on champagne-fueled boondoggles to Monaco. They scramble to hold emergency meetings where someone else can point out the plan from years earlier. 100% of the “Gov’t Fuel Duty” line on every resident’s CUC Bill has been diverted (due to the CUC fuel duty waiver) to the NRA Fund. Sadly, this is the level of disorganization/public contempt we are witnessing with our own eyes and ears. “I think things are coming along quite well,” while whole chapters of the fully-funded plan are ignored…and while public are gas-lighted into misbelieving their private utility bill reflects fuel duties being paid, that aren’t, under penalty of private service termination. You can’t make this stuff up.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are entitled to your opinion but there is one fact that you keep choosing to ignore or perhaps understand which is that every cent that is billed to consumers for fuel and duties by CUC is paid to the fuel companies who in turn pay the duty to the CIG. To state otherwise means that you are ‘making this stuff up.’

      • Anonymous says:

        Wrong, says the Auditor General in the 2018 query and report on this topic. There are no duties levied. It’s not a matter of public opinion. Those collections are not reported as pass thru payments to CIG in their TSE-listing Sedar financial filings. It is a scam to fund the NRA Fund redacted from the TSE. Feel free to investigate and discuss the betrayal, but don’t contribute to it by denying it. Where is CIMA?!?

      • Anonymous says:

        As they say on CNN, “Facts matter. Just tell the truth”. Thank you!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Dem jokers gone and change the direction of the second east bound lane just outside Marina drive. The signage and stripping is horrendous. Up until last night there were still vehicles speeding down the now west bound lane (in the wrong direction). Does somebody need to get killed before they fix that?

  22. Anonymous says:

    sack joey now.
    the guy who said ‘ more roads are not the answer’ keeps on building more roads.
    extending the ew arterial wil solve nothing and will likely create more issues in the long term.

    • Anonymous says:

      Surely building “more roads” helped the western peninsular!! West Bay to GT is the narrowest part of the island, yet it has two roads servicing it!!!! So this stupid logic that “we can’t keep building roads” doesn’t hold. No one is saying that we are to keep building roads forever!!!! But for heaven’s sake….build a road that is needed!!!!

      It is a multi-pronged approach. Roads, public transport, de-centralization and proper planning.

      But in true Cayman fashion, it is only addressed when it becomes a crisis or an election tool.

      • Anonymous says:

        So your logic of building more roads or extending the arterial extension to Lookout Gardens is the answer? So when all the cars get bottle neck to Lantern Point the extension would help alleviate the existing traffic problem? Unless you are drinking the same Kool Aid as Minister Hew, I just cannot see how this helps. To be honest, it’s either you own land that this extension will help get access to your property this idea and costs are insane and will only create further long term issues.

      • Anonymous says:

        Rubbish, don’t know where you get your geography logic from. Grand Harbour is the narrowest part of Grand Cayman. Read up on the 1932 storm and you will see.

    • Call 911 says:

      Joey Hew is a joke playing to the cameras.
      The traffic solution requires a thorough review and multiple parts to address the core problems e.g. too many cars in Cayman. More roads or widening the roads are not the solution if it all gets bottle necked quarter mile down the road.

      He wants to be the next leader but has no qualifications or track record of success at anything. This isn’t lodge or rotary Cayman must have sustainable development and real planning instead of the expensive ad hoc political quick fixes. He is the pretty face but an empty shell owned by the Monaco jet setters at Camana bay.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Using existing shoulder areas, it would cost just <$10k/mile to safeguard aspiring cyclists with a bollarded, useable, 365/7 corridor. Nobody needs to die anymore to make this point more clear. This is already factored in the 2015-2020 development plan and budget. Where are they Joey?

    • Anonymous says:

      Those plans? They are where he left them; in the trash bin on a mega yacht in Monaco.

      • Anonymous says:

        We paid for them already via our CUC bills and regular $10mln/Year CIG budget!!! Collectively, people sitting in bumper-to-bumper should be way angrier than they are!

    • Anonymous says:

      Plans? We don’t need no stinking plans!

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