NRA and Dart still in talks over upkeep of ETH

| 28/08/2020 | 81 Comments

(CNS): The National Roads Authority will be undertaking the landscape work around parts of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, according to a statement released by the NRA and the Dart Group following public concerns that the overgrown trees and bush were becoming a safety hazard. The two parties said in a joint statement that they are still in discussions about a new agreement for maintaining the road, which was built by Dart.

The bypass was undertaken as part of a controversial deal between the government and the islands’ largest developer that led to the closure of the West Bay Road and the development of the Kimpton hotel.

Over the last few weeks CNS readers have been raising questions about the overgrown medians and roundabouts on parts of the road, which were said to be the result of a dispute between the NRA and Dart. However, the parties denied that the issue could be characterized in that way when CNS asked the two parties about the alleged impasse, who would be dealing with the landscaping and when.

“We appreciate the feedback from the community regarding the median and verge landscaping on portions of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway,” they said in a brief emailed statement. “Dart is in discussions with the Cayman Islands Government regarding the partial handover of Esterley Tibbetts Highway landscaping maintenance.

“The NRA will, in the interim, trim the verges of the roundabouts at Governors Harbour and the Yacht Club as well as the medians north of Governors Harbour in order to maintain safe driver sight lines whilst details of a new amenity agreement are being finalised,” the NRA and Dart added.

There was no indication given to CNS about when the work would start.

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Comments (81)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    “Ongoing Maintenance Responsibility” was clearly specifically in the original 2011 NRA Agreement, and subsequent Amendments all point to section 82 on page 20 of 54…

    §82 “Nothwithstanding the terms of any license granted or contemplated under the terms of this Agreement following the completion of any road Construction works by or on behalf of DRCL, Government or NRA shall retain their obligations, including obligations under the NRA Law, to maintain all aspects of the ETH or any other public road, including, without limitation, the road surface, curbing, Vehicular Bridges, underpasses, drainage and other engineered constructs relating to the ETH and, unless otherwise agreed hereunder, all lighting, signage and landascaping.”

    How is there any confusion?!?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Dart is not as friendly as he used to be. Have you noticed that the demands become more open and the support for the people become less. Now that his control and ownership of the island has gone beyond the tipping point, he does not have to pretend to be the benevolent friend. Now he can start miking his investment; the people be damned. I cannot believe that this has come about it has been the obvious plan from the beginning. Shame on you Cayman.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Can the government take over the responsibility in the in term and pass the costs on to whomever after. It’s becoming dangerous.

  4. Anonymous says:

    typical do-nothing ppm. how many years have they been talking abiout the dumo with no final solution or agreement in place?

  5. Anonymous says:

    poor cig…given a free road…and they can’t even afford to maintain it…
    gives you a real insight into the economic crisis facing cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      They can still afford their salaries

    • Anonymous says:

      Free road???

      You really need to do your research and find out how much CIG gave to DART for those roads..It did not come free..

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly. We’ve lots millions in infrastructure fund fees and low cost housing fund fees but heh, he donated a whole million to the R3 recovery fund (whose board is majority his employees!) so we should be grayeful and worshipping him 🙄

  6. Anonymous says:

    So the smart persons who decided that lots of foliage in the road median now realizes that this leads to lots of annual expenditure???
    Why not simply have 1 or 2 shrubs (e.g. croutons) between each street light pole and cover the rest in weed stop & crush rock? Simple maintenance – weed spray & maybe trim shrubs every couple of years.
    CIG should be looking for ways to reduce / not initiate recurrent expenditure.

    • Elvis says:

      “and cover the rest in weed”

      At first, you had my curiosity. Now, you have my attention.

    • t says:

      not to mention the monthly surprise road closures so the landscapers can maintain the plants. nothing like coming off yacht club round about already in fear of some halfwit doing a full circle of the roundabout in the outside lane, only to find the highway is abruptly closed. I reckon I’ve seen half a dozen rear enders for that reason alone.

    • Anonymous says:

      Croutons 😂

    • Anonymous says:

      Crush rock is ugly.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Leaving aside the political and Dart-bashing hot air, the fact remains that there’s a dispute. That means that the original transaction documentation either fails to address the point or is ambiguous about it. And THAT means that unless they were specifically instructed to make it so, some lawyer, somewhere in Government and/or Dart, has been incompetent. Addressing ongoing repair and upkeep in documentation for a project like this is, or at least should be, pretty much Drafting 101.

    • Gordon B says:

      Never trust the lawyers to get it right. They make the documents vague so there will always be a dispute so when you go to court you have to use them again. They are worse than real estate brokers!

    • Anonymous says:

      Hmmm… let’s see… whose lawyers do we think are more incompetent and less thorough? I know where I’d place my bet.

      • Anonymous says:

        From what I’ve seen of the legal teams of both parties, it’s a pretty close contest.

    • edbush says:

      The person that knows the answer – she retired – replaced by newbies that don’t read the docs!

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder if the two “Dislikes” are the two lawyers!

  8. Anonymous says:

    All things in Cayman are going downhill fast and no relief in sight. Now is the time for blaming Dart, expats, and anyone but CIG for Caymans lack of function. Typical reaction to being faced with actual work that they are not suited for. Cayman is no longer suited for tourism. Its dead. Finance is falling fast, construction is fading out but thanks to a $500,000,000 loan CIG is still spending big on its voters and trying their best to get rid of expats and gays. What kind of future is in store for this island? A massive debt. Only expats will have any money to spend. But no one will think of this until too late. In the end expats will own Cayman (they already do) and Caymanians will own only themselves and their dept.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your statement is not accurate. Finance is NOT falling fast, you obv know nothing about it. SMH. Talk about negativity JEEZE!

  9. Rodney Barnett says:

    If you take the time to read the various comments, you will realize that nearly every person has a different opinion and most importantly a different understanding about the construction and maintenance of the Esterly Tibbotts Highway.

    Personally, I do not have any of the intimate details of the final agreements entered into by the CIG and Dark. However, I do believe the overall highway (from Batabano Road all the way to the Butterfield Roundabout) was built in different sections. It simply makes sense that the various sections would have different agreements. In fact, the last portion constructed — that south of Camana Bay to Butterfield Roundabout had two separate agreements and two different contractors.

    Because CIG operates in “The Dark” rather than in “The Sunshine” with the overwhelming number of GIG contracts secret, the people will never know the real facts.

    As many readers of this publication may know, I have been complaining extensively about the condition of the highway. I really did not emphasize safety, but others have pointed out the dangers of overgrown landscaping along the roadway. They are certainly correct and I salute them!

    All Caymanians should demand “Open Government” with only the very tiniest number of exemptions. The agreements made today will bind YOU and the CIG for decades to come. Certainly throughout or lifetimes. I urge all residents to support this idea. And one that is real, not window dressing like the current Open Records Law.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for your input. Mind blowing, taking into account the size of the “highway”.

  10. Anonymous says:

    In normal places the government builds the expressways.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL. Highway, expressway, freeway….Cayman is too small for that. Just get proper public transportation.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The richest man in Cayman can’t mow his lawn?

    The NRA is obviously not landscapers.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Where is the pedestrian bridge for children crossing a motorway from Governors Harbour to Public Beach? Wasn’t this promised by DART as part of the very shady NRA Agreement? Do we have to wait for the first death?

    • Anonymous says:

      Will it get used? Or will it be like the Hyatt bridge? My money is on people risking life and crossing road to avoid climbing a few steps….

      • Anonymous says:

        Lazy is as lazy does.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are right, no one will use it. I cross that road almost daily when I run. It is about 3 seconds to jog to the median and about 5 seconds to walk. With long sight lines, not exactly a high risk endeavor.

      • Anonymous says:

        It will become shade for them to jaywalk under.

    • Anonymous says:

      1.58 Unfortunately it usually takes a death before people sit up and take notice.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Just a distraction tactic.
    There are much more important things going on under our noses.
    The noose is tightening.
    Wake up people.
    Your government is paid for.

    • Confucius says:

      It is said, “Every man has his price”. It is quite obvious that this is true in the Cayman Islands government!

  14. Anonymous says:

    All roads in cayman are disastrous no matter if they are maintained or not because until the cops clamp down on shitty drivers we are all more in danger of dying on the roads.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Yay finally someone reports on this. The overgrown vegetation is hazardous.

  16. Anonymous says:

    we the poor willhave to pay upkeep on top of fees?

  17. One Who Knew says:

    I recall the penultimate draft of the “NRA Agreement” stating that Dart would maintain the pavement, the structures and the landscaping. Do you want the NRA engineers doing safety inspections on the bridges? They are not trained for that.

  18. Civil Service Distress Signal says:

    The pandemic has given Govt the ultimate excuse to skive off. 2020 is a bust as far as Govt services are concerned.

  19. Anonymous says:

    the real danger for this island, our beloved land upon which is was founded upon, is that this pandemic has left us in a vulnerable state for abuse by Dart. the vulture fund machine will spread its full wings and devour us whole. its up to us to stop it.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Planting out the median was such a bonehead idea. Almost every month, lanes have to be closed to maintain the median, when it was being maintained. Imagine the expense, no wonder Dart nor Government wants to accept ongoing responsibility. It’s a highway not a garden! You can’t make this stuff up.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Dart now its the claws in deep enough that they can start dictating what government does. The beast is not going to even pretend to be benevolent anymore.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Dart gave us a nice road and freed up traffic jams, and all govt needed to do was keep it clean and they failed

  23. Anonymous says:

    The one by Yacht club is horrible…you have to come to complete stop and edge out to see if anyone is coming through…absolutely no way to anticipate…Someone actually seems to have planted trees on edge of round about. So while they argue we are in danger. CIG needs to keep the roads safe.

  24. Anonymous says:

    The road was built by the NRA, overseen and paid-in-kind by DART, per NRA (3rd rev 2016). This was in exchange for 220 acres of crown lease “Safehaven” land, Soto-lands, and other land swaps and giveaways. Let’s not pretend that DART was a benevolent donor – both parties have clear obligations. Four years on, there are entire sections of the agreement that have either expired or haven’t been honored by either party. We need to put an end to these backroom deals and the governments that enter them with public money, patience, and resources. We’ve got no beach bars, two tunnels to nowhere, a derelict hotel from a storm 16 years ago, golf course lawsuits, and countless other DART-related PR issues. This is not a charity development group.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I noticed the demise of the area as well but thought it was due to Covid issues. Thankfully no tourists are around to see the horrible condition of those areas. Dart should care for it since he did all the landscaping as some of it requires quite a bit of maintenance and I would think if gov planted those areas, low maintenance plants would have been used instead.

    • Anonymous says:

      As usual everyone thinks anything Dart does is amazing but look at whats being handed over. Dart supposedly has professional horticulturists and landscape designers but they dont know the plants characteristics? Complete hodge podge design of plants that will grow 6ft high right next to others that only grow 1 or 2 feet high? Who does that? Just a rush to make it look good to open a hotel but with no long term insight on how things will grow together or be acceptable for NRA visibility requirements. Guaranteed, half of it will be removed. The usual waste of funds.

  26. Anonymous says:

    DART, if you haven’t handed it over yet, are you not responsible?….. just sayin…

    Notwithstanding, NRA, WTF?

  27. Anonymous says:

    Never underestimate the power of a well trimmed bush.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Can we please clamp down on people who call it Easterly Tibbetts???

    It’s Esterley. The road even goes North/South-ish as a clue.

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