Dedicated bike lanes planned

Will be on East-West highway

The National Roads Authority will construct dedicated bicycle lanes along the East-West Arterial Corridor, which is expected to commence construction by early December.

NRA Deputy Director Edward Howard confirmed the bike lanes will be the first of their kind along public roads in the Cayman Islands, and that they could become more prevalent in the future.

‘We will try to include them in all future primary and secondary roads,’ he said.

Mr. Howard said the bike lanes were not in the original plans for the road.

‘But we had to think about he mobility aspect,’ he said. ‘We have to account for more than just vehicular traffic.’

The five-foot delineated bike lanes will be marked with the standard symbol for a bike lane, and might include words to that effect as well, Mr. Howard said.

Minister of Communications, Works and Infrastructure Arden McLean said Cabinet had now approved the initial road works for the East-West Arterial Road Corridor.

The initial work will consist of four road segments that traverse the approximately three miles from Hirst Road in Newlands to the junction of Shamrock Road and Prospect Point Road in Red Bay.

The first segment will run from Hirst Road to Spotts-Newlands. Other segments will run from Spotts-Newlands to Poindexter Road; from Poindexter Road to Shamrock Road just south of Mangrove Avenue in Prospect; and from that point to the junction of Shamrock Road and Prospect Point Road.

The last segment will pass through the Prospect Point area and will necessitate the demolition of Red Bay Plaza, home of the popular local hangout Durty Reid’s.

The three mile stretch of road will require the building of four new roundabouts at the various intersections.

Mr. McLean said all of the roads will be built to five feet above Mean Sea Level.

In keeping with a policy he announced a few weeks ago, Mr. McLean said the road will have an asphalt surface. Mr. Howard said the bike lanes would also have an asphalt surface.

The East-West Corridor will eventually be built to six lanes, however, initially only the outer two lanes will be built, with and 88-foot grass median between them.

When the other lanes are eventually constructed, they will be separated from the existing lanes by a 10-foot grass median. At that point, the outer lanes will serve as local access roads, while the inner lanes will serve as the main arteries, or express lanes.

Mr. McLean asked for the cooperation of the residents living in the communities that will be affected by the construction of the road.

‘Overall, the Ministry and the National Roads Authority are confident that this initial phase of the East-West Arterial Road will alleviate most of the traffic congestion currently being experienced by residents of the Eastern districts and allow for safer and more convenient road travel,’ he said.

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