Minister for Works Arden McLean breathed a sigh of relief yesterday morning that the extension of the Esterly Tibbetts Highway had opened.
‘I’m just glad that it has reached this point,’ he said. ‘At least we can have the motoring public on it now at reduced speeds and I hope this can allay some of the traffic woes.’
The Minister was speaking at the official opening of the extension to the highway which took place at 7am yesterday. The new stretch of road goes from just north of the Marriott Courtyard Hotel to the Galleria Roundabout.
Traffic that went onto the stretch of roadway yesterday morning after the opening looked to be flowing freely following the usual crawl out of West Bay onto the West Bay Road until the turn off for the new road at Raleigh Quay.
Police were on the road from after 7.30am alerting traffic to the fact that the new road was an option for them to use.
Mr. McLean noted that he hopes the road can be fully completed by the end of the year.
For now it is open with limited access between 6am and 7pm with a speed limit of 25 mph.
Currently, there is one lane travelling in either direction, but plans will be revealed soon, said the Minister, for two northbound lanes and two southbound lanes.
A spray-and-chip surface is currently in place and a hot-mixed asphalt surface will be laid once the roadway has settled sufficiently.
Minister for Tourism Charles Clifford said he was very pleased to be in a position to be able to address some of the congestion issues that had been a concern for tourists along Seven Mile Beach and West Bay Road.
He envisages that tour buses on their way to West Bay will use the highway extension and find it an easier route to go.
Daughter of the road’s namesake Esterly Tibbetts, Janet Macmillan said she felt very privileged to be representing her father who passed away six years ago.
‘I feel very proud today,’ she said.
Minister McLean gave a big thank you to staff, management and the Board of Directors of the National Roads Authority for all the work they have done on the highway extension and to. Michael Ryan of the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and his staff for all the work in building the bridge.
Also present at the opening was Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts, Governor Stuart Jack, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs and government officials.