Cardinall Avenue facelift faced challenges

| 26/10/2022 | 101 Comments
Cardinall Avenue, artist’s rendition

(CNS): The work on Cardinall Avenue to turn the George Town street into a pedestrianized zone is now almost complete, as work on the final part along Seafarers Way between Fort Street and Goring Avenue gets underway this week, with new traffic diversions expected. However, the project has taken much longer than expected but despite increasing costs the final price tag will officials have said come in on budget. What was supposed to be a five- to six-month facelift will have taken almost a year by the time it is finished.

“This project has not been without its challenges, as we navigated through the supply chain issues and scarcity and rising costs of construction materials that were being experienced globally,” said Colin Lumsden, the George Town Manager and Revitalisation Initiative Coordinator.

No final price tag has been released to the public for this project as officials have said it is ongoing.

This project is part of the wider George Town Revitalisation of the Central Business District, a long-term initiative to revamp the capital by improving accessibility and walkability in the downtown area and rezoning a section of Cardinall Avenue into a pedestrian-only street.

The major work on Cardinall Avenue is complete, including the underground infrastructure, new street lighting and landscaping, as well as the planned addition of new urban furniture. The last phase of the project now moves to Seafarers Way, where two pedestrian crossings will be installed connecting the pocket park on the waterfront to Cardinall Avenue. There will also be more landscaping and the installation of a solar-powered smart bench that will offer free wi-fi, courtesy of SALT Technology.

“By reimagining the central business district as a whole, we are improving the overall experience through pedestrianised streets, shared cycleways and modern technology,” Lumsden said. “The pedestrianisation of Grand Cayman’s most famous shopping street will help to create a highly attractive destination for visitors and a richer urban experience for residents.”

Over the coming weeks, the volume of traffic along the waterfront will be reduced to accommodate the final work. Officials said that provisions have been made to minimise the disruption to commuters as much as possible.

The anticipated traffic plan is as follows subject to favourable weather conditions:

  • Seafarers Way between Fort Street and Goring Avenue will be open to one-way traffic from Thursday, 27 October, at 4:00pm to Thursday, 10 November, at 4:00pm. Local access will still be available.
  • From 4:00pm to 7:00pm the road will be open to southbound traffic.
  • From 7:00pm to 4:00pm the road will be open to northbound traffic. Large trucks and container trailers travelling north during this time will be rerouted at Memorial Avenue to help mitigate congestion.

For more details see the George Town Revitalisation Initiative on Facebook facebook.com/GTRevitalisation or Instagram instagram.com/gtrevitalisation


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Comments (101)

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  1. Jim Beam says:

    This article is wrong. The road is open to northbound traffic only it seems. They are NOT reversing the flow and letting southbound traffic go along the waterfront after 4pm.

    Traffic is a nightmare daily through the middle of George Town.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The government should take the 20 million it wants to spend on sand for the Marriott and build a multi-story car park downtown. That would do more to revitalize George Town than any number of pedestrian malls with nice paving stones.

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    • George Ebanks says:

      @9:14am. Bang on point! And add a nice movie theater.

      Think of things to BRING PEOPLE INTO TOWN.

      And since Government likes to give concessions; give some millions to existing building owners in town to remodel their buildings to include multi-use capabilities (residential and commercial).

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Guess what y’all know tourism is a special part of Caymans Economy.
    Funds collected by locals and permit holders are surely being put to use:
    Right into Tourism Attractions. Our attractions make us unique, healthy and profitable.
    You guys will appreciate it. Please do not ruin it by wicked means if you have any.
    Or anything in that matter. Please come out and support small Caymanian businesses.
    Stop tearing down people. I am glad there is someone to deal with these cases.
    Cayman Governors are going to look out for their people, it is the priority right now.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    There is a parking lot with couple floors behind Royal Bank of Canada.
    This project in my opinion is tailored toward parade walks, simple lounging, sightseeing, and small shopping stalls. A digital Advertisement would look good up too. Pet friendly is a feature I would assume.
    Everyone complaining about the parking there, need to understand what we are trying to achieve.
    By we’ I mean those who understand the layout already. We who want the environment to have less motor vehicles. We who can appreciate the uniqueness in what sets the attraction apart.
    It is an attraction. One that promotes environmental improvement and hopefully good health.

  5. Silent majority! says:

    Public parking should have been considered first. I hear vehicles will now be allowed to drive on the expensive papers!!!????…they should look pretty in a month.
    No clients want to come into George Town now as LESS parking is available.
    Would like to hear the price tag asap!

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    • Sick A Dem de PPM says:

      The price tag the price tag why nobody is talking about the fact that this project is ultimately for the benefit of the family who owns stores on both sides of this road. Why can’t people speak out about this benefiting of one family who can afford to contribute to the cost of the project as it benefits them in a large proportion. Shame on the damn PPM. Taking the peoples money to benefit their supporters. Dyam shameful.sick a dem

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  6. Anonymous says:

    I think it looks good

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  7. Anonymous says:

    “Supply chain” impact …on locally-made pavers and a few locally-sourced palms???

    Well..at least they didn’t blame covid!!

    When will any CIG project be delivered on time, within budget and without excuses??

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Colin Lumsden? Is that the name of the person who decided to push ahead with this project without consulting the businesses in the area, without accounting for loss of parking, without planning for traffic issues (have you noticed how much worse traffic has been since they closed Cardinall?), and pushed ahead ignoring these issues when they were raised? Someone needs to explain to him what “planning” means.

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    • Anonymous says:

      They not only didn’t provide for extra parking they took out at least 12 spaces which already existed.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    what a waste of money

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Yay!!!! I hope the tourists enjoy this and our locals.
    I’m sure you all can see how this could help small vendors, if their is any.
    Well done Cayman, after all Camana bay is the runner up now. 🙂

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  11. Anonymous says:

    This was another eleventh hour move: less than three weeks before the last election, the PPM-led Unity government issued the tender on the unfulfilled Progressive campaign promise to revitalize GT, first made in 2013. Nobody asked for this. Usual opacity. All their buddies involved. The cost is going to be jaw-dropping. More of those raised speed hump crosswalks going in across South Church Street/Seafarers way, as if that’s a thing.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    With leadership and lieutenants like this lot wasting more money on nonsense we should make Franz Manderson the emperor instead of giving him a knighthood because they only answer to him. He in turn rewards them with continued employment no matter the mess or costs associated. Shocking stuff from the opposite of a world class civil service.

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    • Anonymous says:

      5:58 poor you. Our DG got you thinking about him as you wake.

      Wake and smell the roses you can’t even comprehend what our DG achieves in a day.

      In 2 years we will be singing the praises of this project.

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    • Anonymous says:

      5:58. Stop posting rubbish about our DG. You are so jealous.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Is mr lumsden the one that dug up close to 150 SILVER THATCH PALMS that was in Heros Square and replace them with rocks and concrete? Where is the THATCH TREES NOW AS WE COULD USE THEM TO PLANT IN HONOR OF OUR Queen jubilee plant a tree campaign. No respect for our National Tree!

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Lumsden keeping himself employed so he can continue with his extravagant jet setting lifestyle (jay Z and Beyonce)

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  14. Anonymous says:

    It seems to be mainly pavers. Were the Supply chain issues due to traffic congestion from flowers or did they not support the local vendors and ship them in?

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  15. Anonymous says:

    The money could have been put to better use like education, reduction of crime, helping the elderly and needy…etc?

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  16. Anonymous says:

    So all this yet the cops still can’t be on the roads to catch the aggressive speeders everyday? I saw three cops watching this very slow walk way being constructed this week. Couldn’t they be on the road getting dangerous drivers? If rcips needs help, every morning from 6a it starts with the nonsense driving from the east. They are probably still drunk too.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Been coming to cayman over 15 years and never walked around George Town yet. Congested in day with no parking and at night looks like a ghost town.
    If there was a nice parking lot available my family would check it out.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Pathetic.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    As a tourist, I would like to be able to check this area out when down in a few months. Where does one park? Been to GC many times, but could never find parking, circled and drove off. Thank you.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Guess if you come on a cruise ship you won’t need parking- this must really be just for cruisers? I bet they didn’t realise this question would come up. So funny!

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      • Anonymous says:

        NO, the Q is for overnight stays! READ!

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        • Anonymous says:

          You should try reading actually. 6:42 is saying that this project must be just for cruise ship passengers since there is no real solution for parking for anyone else.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Camana Bay.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Overnight guest. Thank you

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    • Anonymous says:

      Best to take a bus into town from your hotel/condo.

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    • Anon says:

      If you are coming to Grand Cayman and want to see down town, then please take a bus ($3 from the 7 Mile Beach hotels or a Taxi $15). You can walk all over town in 1 hour, you do not need to rent a car. George Town, Grand Cayman is like every metropolitan city, no parking. Please take a bus.

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    • Anonymous says:

      get the bus. gt is a walking town. taking your car everywhere is a thing of the past.

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    • anon1 says:

      Yes, GT parking is a joke. Hence, GT has been slowly dying off like Blockbusters. People need convenience for one thing. Hope Lumsden and these other planners take that into account or this excercise will prove fruitless.

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  20. Nunya says:

    This plan to revitalize George Town is a sham. Tourists are not coming here looking for a shopping district – they are disembarking a cruise ship where they are likely on an all inclusive vacation. Cruise tourism today is a budget-friendly vacation. Why “we” continue to think cruise passengers are coming here to spend money on jewelry, perfume and leather goods is beyond me. And please stop pretending you considered residents as part of this project – where in Hog Sty Bay do you expect us to park in order to visit these establishments?! We can’t even fulfill jury duty as civilians without the stress of trying to find somewhere to park near the courthouse.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    George Town is the central business district? Mr Lumsden, I think you should take a trip to Caymana bay.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile our public educational system and our driving educational system are the equivalent of a “3rd world SH$T Hole!

    Liken this Cardinal Ave project to the Kiosk at Owen Roberts arrivals area. They’re there to process information so a traveler can stand in line a wait to be approved by the immigration officer. Not like 1st world countries where you do the “kiosk thing” and walk out.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely embarrassing. For the cost and time spent on this tiny little part of a street, in the UK they’d do half a town in half the time.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Such a wonderful place the Youkay, isn’t it? Efficient and economically brilliant, always completing things on or within budget. You poor deluded soul, 4:06.

      A Brit.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe once upon a time, but they have more serious issues like they also change Prime Ministers like clothes and the pound sterling is in serious decline. It seems the sun has finally now set on the British Empire after all.

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  24. Happy says:

    Looking forward to walk between shops without get run over by lawless drivers! It is getting popular round the world to closed high street for vehicles.

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  25. CG says:

    Roads are limited in george town with Fort Street and Cardinal Ave being the primary east west roads in central george town. with the census confirming 30% growth in the last 10 years and no growth management strategy being implemented, we wonder why any govt would choose to prohibit vehicles on that road? The last thing tourists and locals want are more traffic jams in town.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If they put some thought into it and maybe made GT one big one way loop or any other traffic solutions they might be ok. But the same with the parking, no real thought just slap a project in place.

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  26. RoadRunner says:

    One year is ridiculous but Govt has done even better, just look at the road extension ending on North Church St (aka the Roman Road) which is still nowhere near completion after 2 years or more.Some say by the time it’s finished we will be underwater!.

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  27. Say it like it is says:

    Taking a year to repave a road not even 75 yds long is bad enough but why on earth did Mr Lumsden plant palm trees down the centre of the road when they give no shade. Exactly where is he putting his “urban furniture”,no visitors will want to sit out in the hot sun.I foresee they will all be walking down the covered sidewalks exactly as they did before this multi million dollar folly was constructed.What a disaster!.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    This Is ABSOLUTELY FALSE!!! The Project is NOT Finished and NOT OVERBUDGET!!!!! Stop encouraging negativity in our community.

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  29. What's new ?? says:

    Bad planning. Merchants should help foot the bill in my opinion

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  30. Corruption is Endemic says:

    Usual suspects, Franzies all around…

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  31. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s a great idea to have done and it does look great, but honestly, I’m still very disappointed that the trees will never provide proper shade. Let’s stop putting palm trees everywhere, because they will never provide enough shade, which is a huge problem.
    Next, why do we need a pedestrian cross walk there? There is literally one less than 20ft down the road. Why do we have to scatter crosswalks all over and let’s be honest the tourists cross wherever they want to anyway. I have seen many a tour operator crossing wherever they please as well, with tourists following behind.

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  32. Anonymous says:

    Shock, Horror – NEVER SAW THAT ONE COMING.

    Another futile Auditor General’s report in the making. Let me make some BOLD predictions on the report’s future findings….
    Missing receipts, no audit trail, “outside” interference, insufficient/opaque tendering process…..

    And the findings will include reference to “no clear value for money expended…”

    AG – save us all the time and money – dust off the report on the government schools and tippex out the necessary and replace …It’ll be fine.

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  33. Anonymous says:

    The amount of cross walks they put in there you might as well block the whole thing off and not let any traffic go through. clearly gov doesn’t care about the Cayman people. letting the tourists off before 9am in the morning is terrible. inconvenience us in the mornings so they can block up the waterfront. smh

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    • Crosswalks here are nothing short of ridiculous! The lights are activated immediately for a pedestrian when the button is pressed and do not allow cars to progress if there is a stream of continuous pedestrians. The lights should have a timer to ensure that drivers and pedestrians have an equal chance of getting to their destination.

      Letting tourists off the ships before commuters have had a chance to get to work is causing chaos, especially on a Wednesday. To add to this, hardly any of the shops, museum or eateries are open, so we have tourists aimlessly ambling around.

      Perhaps the working day could start at 11 am if whoever is responsible for this is too inept at trying to resolve this issue that is affecting all residents.

      In defence of the tourists, this is not their fault, and I certainly would expect amenities to be open when they have disembarked, rather than having to stand around for an hour in the heat without the opportunity to get a drink or some food. Not everyone wants to buy jewellery!

      Sort it out, please!

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      • Anonymous says:

        been saying this for a while. I even sent Panton a proposal to replace zebra crossings with light controlled crossings along with a georgetown one way system to improve traffic flow – no reply, of course.

        really, they should expand the Royal Watler elevated section to cross SeaFarers so cruise guests step down into Cardinal Avenue without disrupting traffic.

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        • Anonymous says:

          yeah. I shared pages of ideas over the years and each time got the exact same response you did. I hoped this would change with Panton. looks like I was wrong.

      • Anonymous says:

        Can’t agree more, bravo!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah they care about protecting the citizenry by making sure casinos on cruise ships stay close so they can leave promptly at 3pm.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree 100% You would think the cruise ship companies run this country. It would be easy to have passengers disembark at 9.30am after the traffic has died down

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yup, creates mayhem and I’m sure the walking dead off the ships must be shocked by the traffic too

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  34. Anonymous says:

    shambolic from stasrt to finish…. and just an ad-hoc project to keep pwd busy and not part of an overall plan for gt or traffic management.
    just another day in wonderland…

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  35. Anonymous says:

    the usual incompetence and failure from cig and the civil service…
    how long do you think one of these ‘Managers and Revitalisation Initiative Coordinators’….would last in the private sector?

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    • Anonymous says:

      And can we have confirmation as to the appropriate qualifications that Mr. Lumsden has to lead this project. I presume he is at least an Urban Planner? No? I thought not…. And he’s been in this position for 4 years!

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      • Anonymous says:

        A victim of an overpriced Florida State “education”

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      • Say it like it is says:

        Mr Lumsden should be removed from his position as town planner and put in charge of installing more toilets for our visitors (surrounded by palm trees) but nothing else.

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  36. Anonymous says:

    And which favoured contractor is going to harvest that cost overrun?

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    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know much about these kind of things but isn’t it a given if it take longer the cost will have to be more or did they over- budget knowing it would take longer than the estimated time. They really think we all stupid as we Caymanians like to say they think we are all fool- fool!

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  37. Anonymous says:

    shocker

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  38. Beaumont Zodecloun says:

    This project has been — imo– the “Camana BAYing” of George Town. I think it’s a good thing. I wish we could infuse or influence the existing businesses with goods and services that the whole of the island could use, instead of just a long-gone view of what tourist want.

    George Town has the potential to be a major shopping centre, and not just an area settled around a cruise port.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Except Camana Bay actually has shops and restaurants that many people want to go to. Blocking a street and putting in paving stones and a couple of trees and park benches is just lipstick on a pig. Downtown George Town is still a bunch of schlocky junk jewellery and t-shirt shops.

      We won’t be a major shopping centre until we put in actual shops that sell things people want to buy. Even low-end American tourists have moved beyond souvenir keychains and shot glasses.

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    • Anon says:

      to truly reimagine GT for the benefit and enjoyment of residents and tourists alike, parking and traffic need to be addressed. The pretty new pedestrian street has negatively impacted both. Camana Bay was a model development as it addressed the supporting infrastructure before it developed for the people to come. CIG could have learned a thing or two if they’d been paying attn or cared one iota about the business community actually in GT or residents having to traverse through it.

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      • Anonymous says:

        To truly reimagine George Town 87% of it needs to be bulldozed. Yet the Glasshouse is still standing. Go figure.

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    • anon says:

      Beaumont, you normally make very sensible comments, but not in a million years could you turn GT into a Camana Bay,unless you flatten everything and start from scratch.

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  39. JTB says:

    It’s all a complete waste of time and money so long as there is nothing in George Town other than shops for cruise tourists.

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  40. Anonymous says:

    This project was plagued by mismanagement from the start. what a joke.

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  41. Anonymous says:

    That’s a whole lot of PM’s in that one way traffic scheme.

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  42. Anonymous says:

    https://cayman.bonfirehub.com/opportunities/40644 – original contract pricing is posted here

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  43. Anonymous says:

    I cannot fathom how this project has taken a year and I shudder to think of the money spent (wasted?) on this it- pave a road, plant some palm trees, maybe some street lights and a bench.
    Would love to see a breakdown of costs and see who really benefited from this project- coz it’s definitely not the people of the Cayman Islands!

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  44. Anonymous says:

    Can Mr Lumsden please let us know whether or not his chosen contractors have been a company registered in the Cayman Islands for the duration of this project?

    https://www.gov.ky/publication-detail/cabinet-post-meeting-summary-12-october-2022?utm_source=hootsuite&utm_medium=social&utm_term=&utm_content=2d3e65df-ba14-4758-ad43-620240bdb03d&utm_campaign=

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  45. Anonymous says:

    “Rerouted at Memorial Avenue”??!! What a giant cluster this is going to be.

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  46. Anonymous says:

    #worldclassexcuses
    #pacthetic

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