Construction of a new road connecting Owen Roberts International Airport with Red Gate Road will hopefully begin during the upcoming finance year, National Roads Authority managing director Colford Scott said Tuesday.
The approximately half-mile road, which has already been gazetted, will provide a more direct route to and from the Butterfield Roundabout and the Esterley Tibbetts Highway.
The road will cross Breezy Way and go between the Androgroup Ltd. building and the H2Only building, Mr. Scott said.
Androgroup Managing Director Alan Roffey said he welcomed the road because it will offer an alternative route to Owen Roberts Drive, which often has congestion at Dorcy Drive near the Airport Post Office.
‘But it’s bad for us in one sense because we’ll now have traffic zooming by,’ he said.
Taxi driver Richard Ebanks said he was not aware of the plan for the new road, but he was glad to hear about it.
‘It would be a convenience to have that alternative,’ he said.
Mr. Ebanks said it can be very difficult to make a right turn onto Dorcy Drive from Owen Roberts Drive.
‘Sometimes I turn left instead,’ he said, adding that he then turns right down MacLendon Drive and loops behind Foster’s Food Fair to rejoin Dorcy Drive on the other side of Owen Roberts Drive.
Lee Foster, Managing Director of Cico Avis Rent A Car said the new road will help.
‘It will alleviate a tremendous of traffic,’ he said, also noting that traffic currently bottlenecks at the end of Owen Roberts Drive.
Mr. Foster said he understood the long-term plan was to link a new road from the airport directly with the Esterley Tibbetts Highway.
Although the Red Gate Road extension will help ease the traffic coming from the direction of the airport, it will probably put even more traffic in the area of the North Sound and Dorcy Drive intersection, Mr. Foster said.
‘Right now [the Red Gate Road extension] is just a Band-Aid,’ he said, ‘but it will still help.’
Mr. Scott said the NRA planned to pave the road with hot mix asphalt. The part of the road from Breezy Way to Red Gate Road is already cleared and roughed out, and drivable with a truck, he said.
The Red Gate Road extension was originally scheduled for construction earlier, but Mr. Scott said it was delayed when the NRA prioritised extending the Esterley Tibbetts Highway from the Hyatt Regency Hotel to the Courtyard Marriott Hotel.
With regard to that project, Mr. Scott said chip and spray surfacing of a two-lane section between the Hyatt and Canal Point was just about completed. He also said that a geotextile liner had been installed over some of the more swampy areas of the road near Canal Point.
‘There will be some settlement [of the road] during the next year,’ he said, adding that it is hoped the settlement is even.
‘What we don’t want is differential settlement like on the road to the [Cayman Islands] Yacht Club.’
Mr. Scott said the road would likely settle three to six inches over the next year.
With the Esterley Tibbetts Highway Extension being built higher than surrounding properties to avoid flooding, some of the owners of those surrounding properties are in turn concerned about being flooded by water run-off from the roads.
Mr. Scott said the NRA was cognizant of the issue.
‘We’ve drilled in excess of 60 wells between Canal Point and the Hyatt to deal with the run-off,’ he said.
On the topic of another recent NRA project, Mr. Scott said the new system at the Dorcy Drive/Shedden Road intersection, formerly known as Malfunction Junction, has worked well.
‘We’ve had a lot of positive comment about that,’ he said. ‘What makes it work is that there are two approaches of entry from each of the three directions, he said.
Mr. Scott said the broken-up asphalt in the middle of the traffic islands at that intersection would not stay there.
‘We’re in the process of arranging landscaping there,’ he said.