Roundabout is powered up

CENTURY 21 Thompson Realty has been awarded responsibility for landscaping and decorating one of the busiest roundabouts on Grand Cayman.

Located behind the Galleria shopping complex, the newly-landscaped roundabout required electrical power to light up the holiday displays and landscaping resulting from the project.

One of the first challenges the company faced was how to extend electrical power to the roundabout without disrupting the traffic flow around it. Rather than block traffic by digging up the road there, the solution was to use Trenchless Technology to drill under it.

Kermit Chung said ‘If we had used any other company, we would have had to deal with the hassles and time delays associated with giant trenches being dug to lay electrical cable. We depend on tourism and would never want to disrupt the traffic or dig up the roads, only to have to repave them afterward.’

True to its name, Trenchless Technology offers underground horizontal directional drilling and excavation to install electrical conduit, pipes, and cables well below the surface. Since the roads remain undisturbed, so does the flow of traffic.

‘We are purposely doing everything we can to make this a minimal impact project on all of our citizens and everybody who uses this roundabout every day,’ said Cindy Abrahams with CENTURY 21 Thompson Realty, who has been closely involved with the undertaking since the lease was awarded by the NRA last year.

‘It is a very busy roundabout. Plus, there are lots of service cables and connections below it that are critical and must be protected to minimise the impact to our residents or guests staying along Seven Mile Beach,’ said Ms. Abrahams.

Since underground directional drilling technology is able to drill 20 to 30 feet below ground, the worry of cutting through pre-existing lines was eliminated. The drill can be steered unerringly through the substratum whether it has to penetrate solid rock or iron shore to do so.

‘Once we were able to achieve the depth we knew we would avoid any of the obstacles, we levelled off and simply went straight across under the roundabout and pavement to connect exactly below the power box on their side of the road,’ said Brad Watts, General Manager for Trenchless Technology.

Trenchless Technology is able to track the drill on its path below the surface with a state-of-the-art digital locating system which monitors the drill head below ground and obviates guesswork in guiding it.

‘I’m able to get real time readings of the depths of the drill as it transits its path. That way, once we’ve marked where all the cables and utilities are within the area, the drilling occurs at an appropriate depth to stay well below them, and that’s all that matters,’ said Mr. Watts. ‘It’s accurate, quick and has minimal impact to the surrounding area being drilled.’

The drilling for the new roundabout was accomplished with 5 hours of drilling time, and allowed the project to continue as projected.

‘We actually used the technology out in the East End at our Reef Resort and found it to be very successful. So, that’s why we used Trenchless Technology again,’ said Ms. Abrahams. ‘We’re very pleased with what they do.’

An unveiling and ribbon cutting ceremony for the roundabout is currently being planned.