The National Roads Authority has begun looking at alternatives to extending the Linford Pierson Highway to Walkers other than going through the area near the George Town Ironwood Forest.
Minister of Communications, Infrastructure and Works Arden McLean announced in Finance Committee last Monday that that the extension would not go through the area of the Ironwood Forest because it would cost $5 million more to realign the road. However he still wants the Linford Pierson Highway extended to Walkers Road to help alleviate the morning traffic caused by people driving their children to one of the several schools in the area.
‘The [NRA] board has instructed the NRA to come up with every possible scenario, no matter how ridiculous it may seem,’ Mr. McLean told the Finance Committee Wednesday.
The issue was raised again in Finance Committee because Mr. McLean had said Monday that the Linford Pierson Highway would be extended as planned, but only to Outpost Street south of Windsor Park. Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush asked Mr. McLean if any studies had been done about having the traffic from the road extension flow through Windsor Park.
‘It’s a very residentially populated area, so it gives us rise for concern,’ he said.
Mr. McLean said the Linford Pierson Highway extension would not travel through Windsor Park, only intersect Outpost Street.
‘There’s no need for a study; that was part of the gazettal initially,’ Mr. McLean said, adding that it was always planned for the road to intersect Outpost Street.
However, the road was not expected to end at Outpost Street, but rather continue on to Walkers Road. Since that will not happen now – at least not through the Ironwood Forest area – the traffic coming from the east would either have to turn north into Windsor Park or turn south towards Fairbanks Road.
Mr. McLean did not think many motorists would travel through Windsor Park, although he noted that many people in that subdivision could use the new road to travel east.
After Finance Committee, Mr. McLean conceded that there would be nothing preventing motorists from exiting the Linford Pierson Highway at Outpost Street and then going through Windsor Park, but he still maintained they would more likely go towards Fairbanks Road, which ultimately connects to Walkers Road through Aspiration Drive and Academy Way. That route would give access to the University College of the Cayman Islands and the four schools that currently make up the old George Hicks High School without going onto Walkers Road.
The planned work on the Linford Pierson Highway will also include enlarging the little roundabout that connects it with Bobby Thompson Way. It could also involve a repositioning of the road connecting to the roundabout from the south, which is currently accessed from a ‘T’ junction off Fern Circle.