The Government’s anticipated target of 31 June to have the Esterley Tibbetts bypass completed to a driveable level has come and gone, and the road is still far from completion, Works Minister Arden McLean told the Legislative Assembly Monday.
‘We have missed our accelerated target for a driveable chip and spray surface because a number of factors have prevented this from happening,’ he said.
The Minister blamed delays in the construction of the section running through the Ritz-Carlton property, which includes a bridge, and a general scarcity of building materials as the two main factors contributing to the delay.
With regard to the Ritz-Carlton section, needed changes to the bridge design have led to construction lags, and Minister McLean said a global shortage of concrete has further delayed progress.
He also blamed Grand Cayman’s building boom for creating a construction materials shortage.
‘A large number of developments including Camana Bay, Grand Cayman’s largest in history, Governor’s Square and the Butterfield complex are all competing with us for raw materials,’ said Mr. McLean.
‘But we would like to emphasise that this project is still being built faster than any other road project to date, and we are making as much progress as is possible given the circumstances,’ he said.
Mr. McLean said that having met with the Ritz-Carlton team on Friday, he was reassured that the majority of the project’s required materials are now on-Island, and the bridge is anticipated to be completed by the end of August.
As for the rest of the road, Minister McLean said the National Roads Authority has confirmed it should also be in a driveable state by summer’s end.