Minister confirms EWA will pave way for development

| 20/02/2023 | 106 Comments
Road development on Grand Cayman, Cayman News Service
One end of the planned EWA extension

(CNS): Planning Minister Jay Ebanks, who is responsible for roads, has said that new development along the controversial East-West Arterial Road expansion is inevitable and the government will need to rezone the adjacent parcels so it can control the type of development that happens there. While claiming that the road project will only impact 1% of what he said was the 8,500 acres of Central Mangrove Wetlands, he made it clear during a radio appearance that it would pave the way for much more destruction of that habitat.

Ebanks justified what he accepted could be “an open market for development” on the basis that there is already a lot of development going on around the area “right now” and it was the only place where land was available, and that development would continue to happen “whether the road goes in or not”.

As a guest on For the Record, Radio Cayman’s talk show, on Friday, Ebanks confirmed his full commitment to building the road and said he wanted the scientists to get the environmental impact assessment done as quickly as possible.

Despite the claims by the government that the road will reduce congestion, the minister said people should not look at it as solving the traffic problems but that it was “a second alternative” or an “extra option” to move from A to B when there is a collision or natural disaster and in general to give commuters an extra hour in bed.

Dismissing concerns about the destruction of critical mangrove habitat and flooding of residential areas, Ebanks said he had received information last week that the road would only take up 1% of the land and only 49% of that was actually mangroves. The minister also claimed that research and clearing had already been done along the route, as he urged people to get on board with the project.

However, just a few moments later he confirmed concerns that the untouched habitat in the CMW would become an open market for the developers, which would multiply the destruction, and said he had spoken with the premier about the need to zone the land along the proposed route.

“What we need to do… is start to re-zone the properties along that route where the highway is going so we can control the type of development that will happen along that particular road,” Ebanks said. “We hear… the arguments and the people’s cries about the cost of land and the land shortage… to build on. This is something we really need to do, how we can start to re-zone certain properties.”

Ebanks said it would have been better if the government had been able to buy up the land and control a green corridor. But he said officials could not stop people who wanted to develop their private land alongside the road. “There is going to be development happening no matter what happens,” he stated.

The minister confirmed that the National Roads Authority is working to resolve the bottleneck at Grand Harbour which is a major cause of the congestion, compounding the sheer weight of traffic now on Grand Cayman.

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Category: development, Land Habitat, Local News, Science & Nature

Comments (106)

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  1. Anonymous says:


  2. Anonymous says:

    I hear you tired of waking up at 4.00 am and feed your kids in the car but whose gonna pay for this road? So you sleep in until 4.30 am to get stuck at Hurleys round about but will you be able to afford gas for your car, afford rent, afford clothes and food for your kids? Be careful of this road not only will we pay for it but guaranteed your life will be worst by this road.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This road will be awesome! Just imagine drivers channeling their inner Verstappen, Sainz, or Lewis in their lowered saloons and Honda Fits as they do on ETH and LPH daily, or even better, soccer mom SUVs channeling their inner Ricky Bobby!

    Build it. They will come.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good. This island is growing at such a rapid rate and we currently have infrastructure for the 1990s, bush league stuff. We need to match infrastructure with the rate of development. Better roads, better intercontectivity between districts, better public transport. Good to see the island finally trying to develop instead of being stuck in the 1990s.

  5. Anonymous says:

    and we shall call it New Brixton

  6. Truth says:

    The massive traffic jam twice every working day is because 80% of the population works, shops, and goes to school in one small area of the island and everyone must travel to it by car. The only solution that makes any sense is to spread out the work over the island so people say in East end works, shops, and goes to school in East end, those in North side works, shops, and goes to school in North side, and on and on. Build the damn road and get Dart to do what he does best and build a working site in Frank Sound like Camana bay close the the big, underutilized school there. Or just keep complaining and watch it all get worse every month. And since you all have voted leadership who’s main purpose is to give hand outs and not do the smart, hard things I do not see this happening here.

    • Anonymous says:

      …works, shops, and goes to school …
      everywhere else in the world this is not a problem. yet Cayman wants to invent its own solutions that never work


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