Elgin Avenue: New, improved

Construction on Elgin Avenue was
completed Friday, according to the National Roads Authority.

“The project… is on schedule to
be completed by February 25th, 2011,” said Marion Pandohie, transportation
planner for the NRA.

The Elgin Avenue Improvement
Project, as the NRA has been referring to the roadwork, began in September
2010.

The work entailed widening Elgin
Avenue from two lanes to three and four, including a centre turning lane.
Humber Lane was also widened to accommodate increased traffic.

“The purpose of the project is to
improve road safety and traffic flow on Elgin Avenue and the surrounding
areas,” said project manager Peter Ogden.

A pedestrian crossing was added
near the new Government Administration Building. Sidewalks, reconstructed from
the Hospital Road roundabout to the Cayman National Bank roundabout, have ramps
and driveways to accommodate the disabled.

The road was also raised in
sections to improve drainage to reduce flooding on Elgin Avenue.

“The new design splits the road
into a series of highs and lows, each with its own set of new drains, such that
the water will not all drain to one point,” Mr. Ogden said.

Although the roadwork was finished
on schedule, the six-month construction did cause some strain to businesses on
Elgin Avenue.

Karen Marshall, who owns Off the
Peg clothing store, was affected by the construction, especially in the holiday
months of November and December.

She said at the time that December
“was a horrible month, ever since the road construction started, really.”

During construction, Ms Marshall
said she had to wipe off thick layers of dust several times that had accumulated
on the store’s front windows as a result of the roadwork.

She was also without power for
short periods of time due to the construction work around her store.

But her tune has changed.

“Construction has been completed by
us for the last few weeks and it’s been brilliant,” Ms Marshall said. “Now
we’re getting stock in and it’s selling in less than a week.”

Customers visited her store after
the work was finished and told her that they were staying away. Now, they’re
coming in droves.

“I’m so optimistic. Customers are
back. And we’re doing better than ever,” she said.

LOCALstory1

A pedestrian crosswalk was added in front of the new Government Administration Building.
Photo: Brian Wright

LOCALstory2

Elgin Avenue was widened from two lanes to three and four lanes.
Photo: Brian Wright