East-West road work begins in run-up to elections

| 03/03/2021 | 119 Comments
Cayman News Service
NRA works on East-West Arterial extension

(CNS): Work on the next section of the long awaited East-West Arterial extension started this week, just six weeks out from the General Elections. The NRA will be constructing a roundabout at the Hirst Road junction, where the bypass currently ends, and extending the road to east of Woodland Drive, and then south to towards Shamrock Road east of Breadfruit Drive and across from Agricola Drive, officials have said.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said in April 2019, almost two years ago, that this highway was going to be fast tracked.

Speaking about it this week, Infrastructure Minister Joey Hew, who has responsibility for the National Roads Authority, said that after years of planning and working with the National Conservation Council (NCC), some progress has been made and that following this first phase of the new project, the road would be extended into the heart of Bodden Town.

“In phase two, we are working with the NCC to be able to continue the road right into the Look Out Gardens area,” he said. “We are mindful that there are environmental issues that we have to overcome, but we are optimistic that we will be able to work together to mitigate any environmental concerns that they have as we try to find a balance between critical infrastructure and our natural environment.”

The environmental issues are significant. The road is gazetted through the Central Wetlands and mangroves resources that play a significant role in supporting the islands’ ecosystems, as well as directly providing habitat for a range of important and endangered flora and fauna.

But under pressure from a growing population and the ever-increasing number of cars on the road, the minister said he hoped that the NCC would permit more road to be built.

“This is a matter that affects the lives of so many people in the Eastern Districts, and so we hope that NCC will allow the construction of phase two of the road in the coming months,” he said.

Although members of the government have stated on a number of occasions that roads are not the solution to Cayman’s traffic woes, the government has failed to get to grips with a national transport system. In the premier’s 2020 New Year’s Message, he promised to start tackling the traffic problems, but the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic effectively placed the government’s policy agenda on hold.

However, the pressure to build roads has raised concerns for local environmentalist and the question of improved public transport versus more roads is likely to be a significant election campaign issue.

The East-West Arterial extension is not the only project that the NRA is currently working on. Other projects include the Godfrey Nixon Way extension, Shamrock Road widening, King’s Connector and the Airport Connector Roads.


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Comments (119)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This Government likes to blame NCC when it is convenient to do so.

    • Anonymous says:

      And the NCC likes to do the same on government.

      Politics is the killer of our natural environment.

      We need persons who genuinely care for this environment and not posturers and those using such an important issue to score political points.

  2. Cayman Beach” Karen’s” says:

    You are so right 10:05 am we no longer are the benefactors of our own islands those who greatly dislike the native people and have come here with absolutely nothing are running around with million dollar homes on the beach.Our current government and their supporters unfortunately prefer to help those types of persons by building roads and infrastructure etc rather than their own Caymanians who are struggling from paycheck to paycheck. Look around Cayman at those building million dollar beach homes during a pandemic yet Caymanians are fighting desperately to keep their homes out of bank foreclosure. Mrs Dukaran is absolutely right about the widening Gap or disparity between the have and have nots and unfortunately our government and some it’s biggest supporters are helping to advance and expand this situation for their own self interest and to expand their greedy monopolies in Cayman. These road enhancements and projects are simply not for us Caymanians it’s for them follow the money Cayman !

  3. Right ya so says:

    Would someone enlighten me please, what is the “King’s Connector” (final paragraph, last sentence in the article above)? Assuming it’s around King’s Gym but connecting what, starting, ending where?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Victory Avenue now being retarmaced. When will we get speed bumps on the Grand Prix track aka Marina Drive, only been asking 6 years and house hit by cars 5 times in that period.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Where’s my jetpack?

  6. Spotts Beach Lover says:

    Is it a coincidence that MP Hew ambitious road works are taking place during (1) pandemic snap very important election (2) Dart grand Helicopter landing Pad off the Mastic Trail are being push through Planning for approval near where the road path ends. The Land coincidentally sold to Dart by our main Road building company owner and major political donor. Once again our own Caymanians are selling out to Dart. So they and their anti Cayman spouses and friends can live the life where they simply do not have to either interact with or like the locals who are seen or viewed by them as mere nuisances. Sad what has happen to our little island eh?

  7. KMT says:

    Huh, we should have elections every six months if we want to get anything done it seems…. what a joke

  8. Anonymous says:

    What still amazes me is how much Caymanians continue to accept these “bribes” of road works, appliances, hams, turkeys etc in exchange for a vote.

    When will we ever have politicians that can win on their own without vote buying?

    Time for a change Cayman..If we have to wait every 4 years to see asphalt and appliances what does that say of us a as a people?

    • Anonymous says:

      At this time even if a Politician SAVE, a drowning Child, it will be consider VOTE BUYING!

    • Anonymous says:

      @7.14pm So paving public roads is now considered vote buying? Well that kind of vote buying I can accept.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, but waiting till election year sounds like vote buying to me.

      • Anonymous says:

        Where have you been? Paving roads right around elections particularly in neighborhoods were votes are needed has been the norm for the incumbent governments for years. Nothing new, just a little more blatant these days..

  9. Anonymous says:

    Did the DG say some time ago that working from home would become permanent for some government worker’s? If so, does anyone know if that became reality? Also, it would seem to me that some of the larger private companies could have some of their worker’s working remotely a few days of the week. I suspect that they simply don’t care and see the problem as something that the government needs to solve on their own.

  10. Stop Cutting My Trees says:

    I can see a Cayman Metrorail system with a dual track from G.T. hospital, Airport, Camana Bay or Mt. Trashmore, heading east is needed.

    Just destroying our forestry, cutting down trees to make roads, will just kill our eco-system. Its about time we do a metrorail. You can’t stop people from buying cars, as the population increase, roadworks will not solve the problem. WE NEED ANOTHER NATIONAL MODE OF TRANSPORTATION. The longer government tackles this issue, the harder it will be.

    • Anonymous says:

      So…. are you living in a forest treehouse and swinging on vines for transport? Or is it that you are happy taking out trees and shrubbery to build your house and to have a road to drive on but don’t want the same for others? Strange.

    • Anonymous says:

      Carpool. Take a bus. What are EACH of us willing to do? Only have ONE car per household?

  11. Anonymous says:

    At the rate we going, we’ll have a two/three lanes of traffic from Frank Sound straight to Hurley’s bottleneck by 2041.

    And I’ll still be riding my motorcycle merrily along the side of the cars stuck in miles of traffic.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Let NRA get things started then when they are woefully behind schedule they can hand it over to Dart as they have done in the past.

  13. alaw says:

    3:00 I don’t remember when some kind of ROAD WORK was not going on.
    Why some People eyes, only see ROAD WORK at this time!

    • Anonymous says:

      So…. are you living in a forest treehouse and swinging on vines for transport? Or is it that you are happy taking out trees and shrubbery to build your house and to have a road to drive on but don’t want the same for others? Strange.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Guess Joey Hew and the rest of Alden and Dwayne Unity Govt had to complete all the giveaway concessions to DART, Dale Crighton, Michael Ryan and Beach Bay developer before concentrating on this project for poor people

  15. Anonymous says:

    This is an extension to the current drag strip on the evening drive. Cyclists beware and be aware of flying cars and road debris.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I agree we need another road from the east because the traffic is terrible when all the cars are forced onto one road. But it won’t matter because we all meet at the road going to hurleys. Only one way into town and one way out, so traffic will surely continue. If they want to ease traffic then we need multiple ways into town. Or start moving businesses east. I don’t know to be honest; it’s a hard gamble when we’re short on space.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are correct. Total lack of planning at the Hurleys bottleneck with apartments built all around it so room to widen. Now the only solution is to build an express EW flyover above the Hurleys roundabout.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are 100% correct. It takes ages to get to the Hurley’s roundabout but once you’re east of it, it’s smooth sailing. I know it wouldn’t be pretty, but considering all the future developments, I see no other way unless people completely change their view on public transport.

    • Same as it ever was says:

      Double decker highway coming up next. No more easy corridors for new roads unless they start tearing up sections of Central Wetlands and Mastic.

      They’ll make it up as they go along and wait again to actually do something right before elections again. Let’s hope the foolishness and shortsightedness ends with the newly formed cabinet.

    • Anonymous says:

      Schools need to move out east too, or put ALL kids on school buses

    • Anonymous says:

      and wait until Berksoy does his huge development in Red Bay..Alden did you forget to tell your people about this?

  17. Anonymous says:

    I love the smell of asphalt at election time.

  18. damnstraight says:

    Doe and NCC were very silent on Dart Roads!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Dart gets what they want. End of Story. Our politicians have sold their souls for the almighty dollar once again.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Boy things sure get done quickly at election time.

  20. Bird Chirping 101 Catcha Fire says:

    Wow 839pm sounds like you went to the same geography and biology class as both Joey Hew and Alden let me tell you what the birds keep chirping The green you see on the map chirp! is sustaining the brown and grey pollution you see on the map chirp! and if you keep destroy the green on the map chirp the clear fluid aka rain we get from the clouds to let green grow and soil stay together chirp! the green will no longer attract it and it will turn all brown chirp! and you and i wont be able to live or survive and bathe your stupid @$$ Chirp! i am sure glad you are at least looking at the Map though!Chirp!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Still no bike lanes promised and budgeted since 2015. Where there are shoulders, they are filled with construction debris and dissolve into Armco barriers and hard-curbing at traffic circles. It’s like there is no road engineer at work at any stage of planning, design, or construction supervision phases.

  22. Anonymous says:

    from the people who said ‘building more roads is not the answer”…..zzzzzzzzzz
    welcome to wonderland.

  23. Two Cents says:

    It’s interesting that with all of Joey Who’s plans, he still hasnt said anything about how he is going to deal with the choke point by the horse place. Word is that the solution that is being cooked up will be a major gift to the horse people including the daughter of the person being pushed by the PPM to be the next Premier, Roy McTaggart. Guess thats the reason its being kept quiet. Open and transparent my a__!

    • Anonymous says:

      Riddle me this: why should historically occupied land need to give way when across the road it is completely undeveloped? Who owns that land?!?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, there’s plenty of room on the other side of the road. I imagine someone important owns it who expects to make a boatload with commercial development. They would not want to lose any acreage to the road when the driftwood horse stable people can give theirs up instead.

      • Two Cents says:

        The land across the road is owned by the person that they took the land to do the road that we have been using for the past 25 years. Should that person not have the chance to develop what is left of their land? There is undeveloped land east of the horse place on which the little buildings next to the road could be shifted. Why only take more land from one person?

    • mr. right says:

      mr Mctaggarts daughter is not apart of that riding stable, she is a member of the other one closer to town so your statement is incorrect. A stables would also not want a heavy roadway because of the traffic spooking horses and less room for them to run around. SO this expansion is not tied to the stables in aby way.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Joey just giving people more cut thrus to further clog up traffic when the morons stop to let the line jumpers out…

  25. Anonymous says:

    Bridge from Savannah to camana. It rhymes and it would work.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Could someone please update the seriously outdated NRA website? It’s showing outdated and completed projects with very little info on current projects.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Finally! Fast track for two years then start it with all the normal(We don’t understand how to get it done and are still learning to read) excuses. Cayman.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Useless, since in the the end we all get stuck at the same roundabout or parking lot in town.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Weeks before the election, fancy tbat

  30. D. L says:

    Our island neighbor to the East has 100 percent duty on cars and they must be no older than years old when importing them. Surely if Jamaica can implement that we vould as well. Its time for measures like these. Any tom and Nancy driftwood or ironshore can be an importer to flip a car and earn a few bucks….

    • Anonymous says:

      Surely if Jamaica does it than Cayman is dumb enough to follow? Really? Any Bush, Anglin, etc. is importing cars to flip. Blame Caymanians for their own greed and foolishness. You are getting what you built with your own stupidity.

    • Anonymous says:

      A policy that allows only the rich to own a car….

    • Anonymous says:

      That would discriminate against the lower income people. Only rich people would be able to afford cars but we all need transportation don’t we?

    • Anonymous says:

      You do know that this is the primary reason they steal the parts and ship them all there, to assemble cars and bypass the import duty.

  31. Naya Boy says:

    This Covid 19 pandemic has been a warning signal on sustainability and economic development and damage to our environment yet our political leaders and their financial backers just don’t seem to have gotten the message. This measuring of our success on the amount of materialistic mounds of dirt we possess and fashion into mansions of wealth and affluence has made us completely blind to the fact that if you destroy life you simply won’t be here to enjoy the very things you create to make it wonderfully comfortable or convenient. A balance has to be struck with our level of greed and appetite for destroying every living thing and what is going to keep us sustain and alive of this earth. Our strength and happiness is dependent our own ability to do without. This is something our political leaders and their elite supporters who believe they must be somehow made safe from all dangers and inconveniences of this life at our expense thus the term 1% this amalgamation of their interest with their chosen servant which we elect is call democracy until they deem it otherwise our he is no longer useful in serving their selfish interest. This pandemic has fortunately laid bare just how fragile this whole system is and what it has become very weak and our future is not safe either so this propaganda by our political minders is pure foolishness and misleading. Your strength lies in maintaining your foundation which is your environment you destroy it you destroy yourself. Cayman please vote for a change this election because a man or woman who cannot govern him/herself cannot not govern you either. These political parties no longer belong or represent our people Cayman they have sold us out . Make a positive change for the Children Cayman .

  32. Anonymous says:

    will solve nothing regarding traffic issues. people need to realise these works are window dressing that are more to do with increasing land value for various land owners.
    this type of expenditure is pure madness when cig is running a huge deficit…

  33. Anonymous says:

    Now this is really cynical.

  34. ppm Distress Signal says:

    Cayman how can we have a Stronger Safer future if we destroy our environment can Alden and Joey please explain that? Infact the entire ppm need to tell the Cayman voter or is that what I think it is a catchy phrase to get elected. Those benefiting from this great build out of Cayman don’t give a flying €@#% about Cayman or its future only sustaining their bloated foreign economies and corrupt systems while we Cayman derive little benefit other than our political connected elite living well . If you want change Cayman you have to vote for it now! because pretty soon even that right like our environment will be taken from us. Don’t Vote for the PPM vote for our future Cayman!

  35. Anonymous says:

    I hope that people have fully cottoned on to this trick and realised they can expect roadworks before elections and they owe the party in power nothing for the asphalt. Absolutely nothing. Whichever government is in power will give it to you; if your community is out of favour for a few years, it will be back in soon enough. Whatever these people do, if it is legal and you want to take it, take it, but please proceed to act independently anyway. Do not BE bought when you only need to pretend to be – and that’s if you don’t have the integrity to just act your principles to begin with.

  36. Goring Avenue Sand Pirate says:

    We all know what mr Hew is up to and to whom he serves .Opening up our interior opens up even more development which lays waste to even more of our environment and the issues ,but that has never worried the Hews now has it .it has Infact made them and their special interest friends extremely wealthy already their Fortune teller developers were planning developments and purchasing huge tracts of land prior to this road . Environmental Joe knows his Election stuff boy?? NRA votes are important too !

  37. Anonymous says:

    Sure would be nice if they finished Shamrock Road first!

  38. Anonymous says:

    Spoiler alert: This won’t help.

  39. Anonymous says:

    You would think that having it completed just in time for elections would be the proper way to demonstrate competency.. given it being “fast tracked”, and all.

  40. Anonymous says:

    We just simply cannot pave our way out of the current traffic congestion. This project will only serve to disrupt the area of Lower Valley and turn it into another horrendous nightmare.

    We need a properly functioning public transportation system and if those greedy vote getters had started that years ago we would by now be well on the way to having one. We also need to take a closer look at the size, types and amounts of vehicles being imported into this small Island. The concept of everyone having a motor car can no longer be maintained.

    Those two matters along with proper enforcement of the traffic law to curtail the reckless and careless manner of driving will go a long way to solving the problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      So who determines who is allowed to have a car? And based on what criteria?

    • ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

      The solution is simple. Implement proper public transportation and change the laws so if you’re not allowed to have dependents on your work permit you can not own a vehicle.

      • Anonymous says:

        But if you are unmarried without kids but earn more than the WP minimum ut do not have dependents … you won’t be able to have a car notwithstanding your income is far above the 3500 minimum for a dependent ??? Does that really make sense? So childless persons who have no parents who want to live here are being discriminated against? #Illogical

        • ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

          You completely missed the point. The point was that if you earn below the threshold to have a dependent on your work permit you would not be allowed to own a vehicle. If you earn more than the threshold you could own a vehicle regardless of whether you have any dependents. If there was proper public transportation this would not be a problem.

  41. Anonymous says:

    The stupidity…. Take the EW straight to Frank Sound Rd and beyond to EE and cut traffic in half going east but of course the same problem of the bottleneck at Hurleys roundabout continues because GOV doesn’t have the nerve now or the foresight then to extend the road behind Hurleys and REALLY fix traffic.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Real smart Alden…this will come to a stop right after the election.

  43. Anonymous says:

    The NCC….give me a break. So a 30-foot wide strip of woodlands and mangroves are removed. WHO CARES! Look at a satellite view of Cayman and the several hundred to a few thousands of acres of untouched woodland. An road extension will improve the lives of several thousands of people and return a few hours of time a week to them (and save on exhaust emissions from sitting in traffic).

    The NCC and DOE instinctively and reflexively always take an extreme, one-sided predictable viewpoint on everything, that their counsel has become meaningless bird chirping.

    • Anonymous says:

      I see you bought what Joey was selling. ‘Its not our fault we didn’t actually get this done sooner, blame it on the trees’.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh? What did the NCC/DoE actually say?

      I don’t see anywhere that Joey says they actually said ‘don’t build it’. He just alludes to some supposed problems to work out. But if you have some inside information we’d love to hear it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Right. The delay in the road building was to save some trees. Riiiiiiiight. Suuuure it was.

    • mr. right says:

      so everytime this happens we just sit back and say ‘oh its only a small strip of mangroves’ and we keep letting this happen until there is none left. A road will not solve anything. More road allows more houses to be built up east, more people live in east, more cars for those people on the road and then the road fills up again. Unless there is a national transport plan this problem will keep occurring.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Geee. Progress being made just before elections. Anyone who can vote – please pay attention to the shadiness of those currently in office. The ethics of what you vote in will determine the next election cycle.

    Want to complain?
    What did you vote for?
    Want a more ethical government?
    What did you vote for?
    Want Caymanians of the ‘unconnected’ to prosper?
    What did you vote for?
    Want a higher standard of living?
    What did you vote for?
    Want better education for our youth?
    What did you vote for?

    I am sick of all the calls for change with no results.

    Yes, things can change if WE vote in those who will force change. If not… WE are to blame. And WE can then only accept the corruption WE voted in.

    Cayman, WE can do better.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Imagine if we had annual elections. So much more would get done!

    • Sheriff says:

      Term limits, every government, everywhere should have term limits for every position. IMHO

  46. Anonymous says:

    Thank you God, please run it straight frank sound!

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