Alden reveals road deals a month before elections

| 16/03/2021 | 95 Comments
Cayman News Service
Site of planned link road between Selkirk Road and Grand Harbour

(CNS): The outgoing premier, Alden McLaughlin, has revealed that government has come to an agreement with two landowners on the outskirts of George Town that will lead to more road building. McLaughlin said that one of the deals will pave the way for a local road that will connect the Red Bay and Prospect communities with Grand Harbour to remove pressure on the East-West Arterial. And after failing to get the owners of an equestrian centre adjacent to the Linford Pierson Highway to sell their land, McLaughlin said government had turned its attention to an agreement with the landowner on the opposite side of the road in order to expand the LPH.

The premier revealed the details of the government’s extensive road plans during the Chamber of Commerce Candidates Forum in Red Bay on Monday evening, where he faced his challenger in the constituency, Sammy Jackson.

In the first of several head-to-head debates, the two men were asked many questions about roads and development, given the traffic issues associated with the constituency. This provided an opportunity for McLaughlin to tout his government’s road building plans, which he said were already being rolled out and would continue into the next administration.

The agreement regarding the road that will link the residential communities from Admirals Landing across Selkirk Drive into Grand Harbour will mean that residents will be able to access the shopping area without using the East-West Arterial, reducing congestion on the Hurley’s roundabout and roads. McLaughlin’s announcement that a deal has been reached with landowners in his constituency to this end comes just a few weeks before the election and after what is understood to have been protracted negotiations regarding the acquisition of the land required to build this public road.

McLaughlin said government had published a comprehensive road expansion plan addressing the Eastern Districts’ traffic woes, which come to a bottleneck in his constituency, the narrowest point of Grand Cayman. He said the work to create six lanes along the E-W Arterial and up to Linford Pierson and onto Bobby Thompson Way had been underway for about four years but had been delayed by the COVID pandemic. He said all of the works would be completed by the end of this year.

“We have today reached agreement with respect to local access from Selkirk Drive into the Grand Harbour and the Davenport development,” he said, explaining that this would offer local access “to avoid motorists having to deal with what will be a six-lane highway”.

McLaughlin also acknowledged that government would need to complete an environmental impact assessment before the E-W arterial can be extended beyond the current works, taking it to Woodland Drive. But despite the warnings given by the Department of Environment about the damage the next part of the road would cause to the Central Mangroves Wetlands, among other risks, the premier appeared to consider the EIA as no more than a formality that would enable the road to go ahead soon afterwards.

He also said the LPH and Bobby Thompson Way expansion would go ahead due to a recent agreement with the landowner. “We have reached agreement with Mr Bobby Thompson so that we are not going to have to battle over the issues with the horse stables there anymore. We are in the process of acquiring the land from Mr Bobby Thompson to the south. So there is going to be a significant expansion,” he said.

But after outlining these extensive road projects, McLaughlin said that no matter how many roads were built they would fill up with cars unless other ways were found of moving people up and down. He also offered his support to the idea, which is becoming increasingly popular among candidates that it is time to stagger working times and to allow more people to work from home.

See more on the debate with Jackson in the CNS Election Section.


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Category: development, Local News

Comments (95)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This road should have been built years ago. Get it done ! This will help alleviate traffic for everyone coming from that side of the island.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bout time. Build the road ASAP. This will solve a lot of traffic issues for that area!

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is clear from the CoC Red Bay debate that Akdens only plan is to continue throwing the tax payers money at the same insufficient and failing plans but expect different results.

    Definition of madness.

  4. Henry says:

    When are the NRA going to put Board minutes and agendas on their website like the CPA?

  5. Henry says:

    Isn’t this linked to Berstoys planned development before the CPA today, linking Admirals to Hurleys. So it will get approved then?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Free enclosed water taxi/ferry, with WiFi, from Red Bay/Prospect (and other places) running to Camana Bay a few times an hour, during morning and afternoon commute. Park and ride parking lots at boat launch.

    Camana Bay has thousands of workers and a school. Many people would gladly sit in an enclosed ferry and relax riding across North Sound, sipping a coffee and maybe getting a bit of work done on laptop, versus sitting in traffic for a couple hours each day.

    Would be kind of cool too.

  7. Anonymous says:

    So…highway right through the hurleys parking lot? Who TF thought that was an acceptable idea?!

    • Anonymous says:

      The NRA engineer who took their simulation software home and tried a few experimental traffic models while drunk I guess

      I speak from experience

  8. Anonymous says:

    Davenport actually announced that they had no discussions with the government or Alden…. hope he gets voted out. Not a huge fan of Sammy to be honest, however, abhorrent Alden needs to gooo!

    • Anonymous says:

      “We have today reached agreement with respect to local access from Selkirk Drive into the Grand Harbour and the Davenport development” is not the same as saying “We have reached agreement with Davenport.” It is saying they reached agreement to create local access into that area (connecting to Bimini Drive just behind Peanuts. The inclusion of Grand Harbour and Davenport in the quote is to designate the location.

    • Anonymous says:

      He’s a part of the problem!

      • Anonymous says:

        Nope. He’s part of the solution. He and Johann. Supporters of the Alden/McKeeva government are making a huge effort to discredit these two in particular. Even here on CNS…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Joey been showing his buddies these road schemes for months now.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The only way to solve this is to reverse the flow of traffic on the roundabouts.

  11. John Ebanks says:

    Is history repeating itself? An old auditor general’s report on the Bobby Thompson Road from the early 2000s recommend that politicians should not be negotiating road acquisitions. Heaven knows the side deals and commissions the politicians get!

    • Anonymous says:

      Do ANY sitting politicians pay ANY attention to studies, investigation reports, recommendations, etc. from relevant agencies??

      Anyone remember Vision 2008? Whatever happened to that and all of its recommendations??

  12. its not the votes that count it’s who counts the votes ? Ppm motto says:

    Roads for votes is it an acceptable exchange Cayman our political parties same to think so the only problem with this little transaction is the politician are deceiving us into believing they are paying for it when Infact it us the voter’s ,which leads to my next point what exactly does road do for you and where exactly does it end up? Don’t waste your vote Cayman or let anyone convince your vote doesn’t count. Those buildings roads during and election simply believe you nor your vote are important!

  13. Giles says:

    Once all these third lanes have been finished what is really needed is to make these bus lanes and start a properly run and scheduled bus system. Until this happens it doesn’t matter how many lanes you build, they will fill up with new cars faster than you can widen them.

  14. Anonymous says:

    And property values in Grand Harbour just tanked! Good luck getting out of there in the morning when the whole of Red Bay tries to take a shortcut 🤦🏿‍♀️

    • Anonymous says:

      Also all these cars going through to the hurleys roundabout will have right of way over everyone on the main road. The main road will have to stop to let them out and I predict it might make things worse than ever. Or am I missing something.

      Roundabouts need to go and be replaced with proper large intersections and junctions designed for higher volumes of traffic.

      • Anonymous says:

        Implying anyone on this Island understands how to use a roundabout other than driving around it – and i’ve seen plenty of people get that wrong.

      • John says:

        Cayman needs proper planning. It needs to open up for business. If everyone is vaccinated why continue with the stupid two week lock down quarantine.
        Horrible!!! Good luck getting your economy restarted.

      • Old Cayman Driver. says:

        Well…… I been telling you for years that roundabouts are the work of the devil! Roundabouts become worse bottlenecks than good intersections!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sources say this is complete nonsense, Alden has reached no such agreement. the truth is there has always been that access between Selkirk and Bimini I know as I drove it regularly before it was blocked up by a contractor. The sad part for Red Bay residents is the person responsible for roads lives on Bimini drive. it is time for Red Bay residents to boycott the Grand Harbor development and all the business there if they feel it in their pockets they may persuade the access road to be opened.

      • Buck Johnson says:

        Why do you think you have a “right” to go through Grand Harbor, a private development? It was the government that screwed up Selkirk drive entrance.

    • Anonymous says:

      Add the proposed cut-through from Prospect to Red Bay, and values will tank even further. Not just Red Bay residents cutting through but folks from Prospect will be able to do the same thing.

      All part of the proposed Berksoy development.

      • Anonymous says:

        And we in prospect have had to deal with everyone cutting though our streets for years. Speeding and clogging our roads. I agree there needs to be a better plan but your property value isn’t our problem.

  15. Anonymous says:

    When will they finish Shamrock Road???????

  16. Anonymous says:

    This happens every election cycle in every country. so what

  17. Anonymous says:

    This almost makes it worse that Alden has done nothing for so long. Clearly all it needed was some effort of his government’s part but they couldn’t be bothered until they needed some votes to keep their snouts in the trough. It’s not enough to only have a government for 2 months each term. We need one that will turn up and work every single day.

    • Anonymous says:

      They called Parliament and made sure each time that it lasted for as short a period as possible. The debate on Civil Partnership was one of the few times that the Parliament lasted for any long time. At one time 13 Bills were agreed upon in 2 days. There was little consistency as to when the Parliament would be called. The sheer lack of order was overwhelming.

    • Anonymous says:

      How can you say Alden done nothing..?
      You forget how we are enjoying life and the rest of the world is in chaos ,

      • Anonymous says:

        5;34 the handling of the pandemic is the only thing he has done right during his tenure.

      • Anonymous says:

        Those were all recommendations from the UK. Don’t be fooled.

      • Anonymous says:

        News Flash: That wasn’t Alden and definitely wasn’t JonJon. Thank CMO and foreign office for the pandemic policies

      • Anonymous says:

        This propaganda needs to stop. Had he and Moses not been so stupid and greedy by allowing cruise ships to continue docking here back in March 2020, knowing full well of the risk that COVID-19 might have been on one of those ships, there wouldn’t have been a need for him to “save us” from the disease. Many locals lost their jobs and business owners suffered, XXXX
        And Alden didn’t do everything on this own. Anyone could have done what he did, or maybe even done a better job of doing so.

      • Anonymous says:

        Excuse me. He followed the directions of the Governor, Chief of Police and Chief Medical Officer.

        Till now, he is still using the same responses, “I dont have that information on hand”, “I dont have those numbers for you”, “we haven’t even talked about that yet” and “I’m not aware of any such information/details/situation”. I think that just about sums up all hes done!

        • Anonymous says:

          They didn’t even let the acting government department who deals with catastrophes know what was going on before the grandstanding daily briefing.

  18. Dexter Layman Ebanks says:

    Alden was having a political meeting boasting of him and his PPM Government accomplishments and then he asked if anyone had any Question =
    A voice said Mr. Mclaughlin is there any one else running in this election =
    Dexter L Ebanks

  19. Anonymous says:

    People in Red Bay now have to turn left, and join the roundabout by the old AutoSpa and then merge into Eastern Districts traffic. If it connects to Grand Harbour they will be able to cut in front of the shopping center and join ahead of the Eastern traffic. More delays for Eastern residents but I suppose it will benefit his constituents.

    • Anonymous says:

      Get ready for Hurley’s to block access and you will all end up back to us at the same roundabout.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Get rid of all the roundabouts, most people don’t know how to use them. Make “T” junctions at all joining roads and users will have to filter in when there is a gap in the flow.

  21. Anonymous says:

    At least the horses have some sense. The answer is not more roads it is less cars

  22. Too Much Cars says:

    A SIMPLE SOLUTION –

    KEY WORK PERMIT HOLDERS EXEMPTED. All other Work Permit Holders must be driven to work be their companies, take the bus; or, pay high fees to own and drive a car.

    PROBLEM SOLVE!

    • Anonymous says:

      A SIMPLE SOLUTION – Public transportation system – full size buses that run on schedule. Then and only then vehicle ownership restrictions could be considered.

    • Anonymous says:

      Truth spoken. It use to be bicycle or on foot. Now, every work permit holder wants a car, and that adds more volumn on our roads. I’ve spoken to many of them, and they don’t like our bus system.

      • Anonymous says:

        What bus system?

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s because the bus system in Cayman is crap. If there was a reliable, clean, on-time bus system more people would use it.

        SIMPLE SOLUTION.

        • Anonymous says:

          I think you’re going to need more tough measures to deal with traffic than merely expanding our bus system. I understand if I am not mistaken, Bahamas has a measure in place that keeps so many work permit holders from acquiring licenses to drive personal vehicles, and they don’t have a fancy bus system… 🙂 Am I speaking to an expat?

          • Anonymous says:

            They are on time and work everyday in Bahamas. Am I talking to a government employee?

      • Anonymous says:

        There is no transportation system in Grand Cayman. Dilapidated mini buses driven by kamikaze have no schedules, rules, regulations, daily vehicles safety inspections, drivers testing for drugs and state of health.

        Public buses, including schools buses, must have mandatory daily, pre-trip check-list inspections.

    • Hafoo says:

      Yep,that will solve a lot of the bad and very very slow driving.years ago many companies provided transportation for thier workers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would immigration status have anything to do with it you twit? Work permit holders are by definition driving to work. What about unemployed Caymanians? Why are they in the road? I’ve heard this argument before and it’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. Come up with a real solution

    • Buck Johnson says:

      So when you say “KEY WORK PERMIT HOLDERS” you mean well off *cough*white*cough* expats and all others, you mean laborers. That’s great. Make the poor pay for everything in Cayman as usual.

  23. Anonymous says:

    But what about the Dump?
    What about Public transportation system?
    What about Education?
    What about overdevelopment?

    These are The KEY issues Cayman is facing.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Dump is not a priority this election. Alden and Joey refuse to talk about it.

    • Anonymous says:

      But what about the Dump? In Progress, Thank you Dart!

      What about Public transportation system? Real public buses and a monorail. If we have 300 million to invest into a dock, surely this can be accomplished. I like Dart-Rail

      What about Education? What about it? People should get one.

      What about overdevelopment? Define “over development”, because over development seems to be defined by everyone that have completed *their* development and don’t want anyone also to develop.

      • Anonymous says:

        You had me until over development. Why not redevelop all rundown or abandoned structures before we start ripping out more trees. Monorail, absofrickenlutley.

  24. Anonymous says:

    What is still missing is a proper long-term plan for development in the Cayman Islands. It is no secret that the government is doing everything it can to attract the ultra wealthy. As the development on Seven Mile and the corridor continues with starting prices in the MILLIONS of dollars (Lacovia, Watermark, Aqua, etc), combined with the goal of increasing the population by tens of thousands, the gap between the “haves” and “have nots” will grow larger and larger, more and more people will be forced to move further east and the “us” vs “them” mentality will unfortunately grow.

    Besides your politicians tossing you a few handouts around election time, what have they truly done for you and your families to secure a prosperous future for Caymanians. Cayman may prosper but without a long-term development plan that takes into account those will lower income brackets, and without a REAL education plan that addresses more than just wasting money on school buildings (not saying the kids don’t deserve great facilities – they definitely do! But SO much $$$$ has been wasted. Who is accountable?????), Cayman will be in a very unfortunate position.

  25. SSM345 says:

    Alden and The PPM will be once again declaring success with another band-aid that does nothing to address the problem in yet one of the many major issues they have failed yet again to address during this recent term in office.

    And the supporters will be drunk in the streets swigging kool-aid.

  26. Anonymous says:

    cant they claim eminent domain over the horse farm?

    • Anonymous says:

      Not when the future Premier has an interest in the stables.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or maybe, and I am just spitballing here, they could claim eminent domain over the undeveloped, unused land across the road from the long standing and active property occupied by the working equestrian centre?

  27. Anonymous says:

    Why was the government unable to reach a deal with the owners of an equestrian centre adjacent to the Linford Pierson Highway? Is the government not able to acquire the land in the interest of the public?

    There is nothing to be proud of that it has taken so long for the government to make some meaningful progress of such important projects.

    • Anonymous says:

      The problem is that Roy McTaggart’s ex wife owns the land and his daughter does her riding there. PPM or no PPM, Roy isn’t giving it up.

  28. SSM345 says:

    The problem is Hurleys roundabout; if that is not addressed then all these roads do absolutely F’all…….

    Does anyone in Govt or the NRA actually travel through this area during rush hour in the mornings / evenings?

    More roads to the bottle neck do nothing unless you fix the bottleneck itself.

    • Anonymous says:

      Traffic lights needed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dead-end South Sound road at Hurley’s roundabout! Locals from there can go down old Crewe Road to get home or head out. They now go towards King’s gym roundabout. All commuting traffic would then go down LP and Shamrock. NO MORE merging at the Hurley’s roundabout –> traffic would flow much faster on the way home.

  29. Anonymous says:

    The question we should be asking is: why didn’t the PPM approach the land owners of the scrub-brush across from the Equestrian Center years ago?

  30. Anonymous says:

    Wasn’t building the road on the opposite side of the road from the stables stopped because if the rare trees & ghost orchids there??

  31. Anonymous says:

    Get CIG OUT of GT. That building should have NEVER been built. Take the seat of government to Bodden Town where it belongs.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Mr Bobby Thompson for agreeing to sell your land again for the good of the citizens traveling east.

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