Three weeks more of road mess

The diversion of northbound traffic on Dorcy Drive to MacLendon Drive will continue for another three weeks.

The road construction work and diversion have severely disrupted traffic on one of the main arteries to Owen Roberts International Airport and to one of Grand Cayman’s busiest shopping plazas, the Foster’s Food Fair Airport Centre.

Dispelling some reports, National Roads Authority Managing Director Brian Tomlinson said Wednesday the project was moving along on schedule.

‘The diversion by Foster’s will be done in the next three weeks and the entire project will be done by the first week of November,’ he said.

The project is adding a third turning lane to what was a two-lane road.

‘There will also be sidewalks for pedestrians and proper crosswalks,’ said Mr. Tomlinson.

In addition, a mini-roundabout will be added at the junction of Dorcy Drive and Owen Roberts International Drive to help traffic flow, especially vehicles coming from the airport and turning right at the intersection.

The project also involved the drilling of 34 drain wells to prevent road flooding from heavy rains.

Mr. Tomlinson said the NRA had advised the public of the project plans through insertions of flyers in the newspaper. However, he conceded the flyers were put in the paper much earlier this year and the timing might not have been the best for people to remember.

The project is as joint effort by the NRA and the private sector company Advanced Road Construction and Paving.

Mr. Tomlinson said the NRA did the old pavement removal and the reconstruction of the aggregate road base, while ARCP is responsible for the drainage, curbs, guttering and hot-mix asphalt paving.

ARCP is being used to do the paving because the NRA’s paving equipment is currently engaged in the overlay of hot-mix asphalt along the Queen’s Highway, a project which will take another two weeks to complete, Mr. Tomlinson said.

The Dorcy Road project actually started several months ago with the drilling of the 34 drain wells, but Mr. Tomlinson said people might not have noticed because the work was done at night.

Residents can’t help but notice the work now, especially people going to the airport, to the many stores in the area or to the Airport Post Office.

Foster’s Food Fair Managing Director Woody Foster said the road construction work has affected the grocery store’s business a little.

‘But considering the mess out there, it hasn’t been that much,’ he said. ‘Our customers have been extremely patient and understanding. We’re very thankful for our loyal customer base.’

Mr. Foster believes that in the long run, once the work is completed, the new road alignment will make access to the Airport Centre much easier and there will be less flooding when it rains.

Mark Scotland, managing director of ARCP believes the benefits will be seen much sooner.

‘It’s not the longer run,’ he said. ‘It’s the shorter run.’