West Bay Road could close next month

The Public Beach section of West Bay Road could close as early as next month as Dart Realty begins construction on the new Yacht Drive roundabout and the lanes merging traffic between 
the two road corridors. 

The roadworks, which kicked off late Wednesday, comprise the closure of the old Yacht Drive, clearing the way for teams to start on the roundabout, the last project in the initial phase extending the Esterley Tibbetts Highway into West Bay’s 
Batabano area. 

“Traffic diversions at Yacht Drive are now in place and work on the new Yacht Drive roundabout commenced this week,” said Jackie Doak, chief operating officer for Dart Realty. “The approximate target for completion of phase one is February 2013. Road closure will be subsequent to completion of phase one and gazettal of the new road.” 

Starting roughly opposite West Bay Road’s Renaissance residences, workers will cut a “temporary Yacht Drive Diversion”, briefly joining the Batabano extension before cutting eastward again and splitting into twin, roughly parallel tracks: a Salt Creek Entrance Road and an approach to both the Yacht Club and Vista Del Mar. 

“Construction of the roundabout will require temporary traffic diversion,” according to a news release issued by Dart Realty. “All traffic using Yacht Drive, including traffic to and from the Cayman Islands Yacht Club and Vista Del Mar, will be diverted via this road. 

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“The diversion is expected to be in place until early February,” the release read. 

Southbound traffic on West Bay Road – between The Renaissance and White Sands, directly opposite the old Yacht Drive intersection – will suffer modest disruptions during the construction, lasting “a couple of weeks, and, to be safe, until early February,” Ms Doak said. 

Meanwhile, on the eve of a Saturday afternoon protest by a variety of West Bay community groups, contesting the ultimate closure of the West Bay Road between Trafalgar Place and Yacht Drive Club, Dart Realty has released a map detailing the ultimate disposition of the area, promising partial completion by Easter. 

The document tracks several miles of bicycle and pedestrian paths along Public Beach, roughly duplicating the route of West Bay Road along the entire 4,000-foot corridor scheduled to be discontinued, past the old Courtyard Marriott, extending as far as the new Yacht Drive Roundabout and road junction, now dubbed “Dune Trail”. 

A nine-acre park and inland extension of Public Beach will occupy the area adjacent to Trafalgar Place, while a wood-planked “Mangrove Forest Trail”, north of the Marriott, will extend to the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, beneath a bridge and on to the Yacht Club. 

“The paths will stretch from Public Beach to Yacht Drive, and will for the first time in Cayman provide public beachfront trails uniquely for pedestrian and cycle use,” according to the release, adding “work will begin imminently, in anticipation of having some public amenities complete in time for the Easter holidays.”  

According to the release, the trails will offer “restrooms, benches, rubbish and recycling bins, native plantings and other amenities,” for the public.  

The new park, the document reads, will comprise “shade trees, children’s play areas, space for public camping and a purpose-built car park with 100 spaces. Also included are volleyball, soccer and other sports facilities that will improve Cayman’s ability to host national sporting events that complement the tourism product.” 

The residential complexes just north of Public Beach, and within the road-closure area, will be served by a purpose-built spur at the new Yacht Drive junction. 

“Once work on the beach park is complete,” the release read, the company would “surrender its leasehold of the land to government, 56 years ahead of the legal expiration. Government will wholly own the park land and facilities, which along with its existing Public Beach ownership, will create an area of more than 12 acres in public ownership.” 

Ms Doak told the Caymanian Compass that completion of the extension to Batabano will be “in the second quarter of 2013”, and ultimately cost an estimated $32.5 million for the entire project. 

It remains unclear when refurbishment of the Courtyard Marriott will begin, although design work is ongoing. The build out is anticipated to take between two years and three years at a cost of US$170 million. 

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  1. One thing I like about Dart, is that he doesn’t think WIN-LOSE, I win and take all from you. From his works, he believes in a WIN-WIN, I win and I will ensure the people get something back! That is what you call investing with commonsense.

    On the other hand, I hope to see Government more attention given to small local businesses this year in order to boost our economy.

  2. will there be a legal pedestrian and bicycle right of way over the existing road way or do we have to take Darts word that we can sue it forever? It is not a legal right of way it is worthless. he can change it at will.

  3. So very, very sad. We are losing our Cayman and very few seem to realise. How many people have bikes (and car bike racks) for the whole family to be able to go and enjoy the beach that we currently have free access to? In a few years the public beach park will be in the same neglected state as the other Dart Parks and who’s to know how long the public right of way will last. The first two comments ( Agrees)below seem like marketing/brain-washing to me as well. Sorry, but I don’t buy it.

  4. Whether people like it or not everything Dart does or is doing is enhancing the Cayman island product and I don’t anyone else doing anything close to what he is doing show me one he is the only one putting his money where his mouth is. It seems to me that he is determined to leave his legacy in Cayman. And Cayman as a whole will benefit from this

    In this world there are those who talk and those who do.

    DART DOES!!!!!

  5. It is time for politicians to come out of hiding and show their salt if they are for or against this road closure. We have heard the war words when due to numbers they were mute but going as the playing is level it is time to see who are men and who are mice. Then the public has 4 months to think about their actions before the election – are they all wind or they action men!

  6. From what see the local politicians in Cayman are hush hush on this simply because they know deep down inside that this deal is good for Cayman as a whole and they all know darn well that whomever is in office after the election will support it no matter what they’ve said to show face for the protestors..

  7. I am generally for the development. The information is a little vague though.
    Is the area shown for the mangrove and dune trail being donated for public use or is this a temporary facility? i.e. will it be handed over with the public beach park?
    When is the Victoria House public beach to the north becoming available? Dart is very quiet on this has he changed his mind?
    Also the picture shows a temporary Yacht Club drive joining the West Bay Road at the same point as the Bypass. This looks very dangerous without a roundabout.There are three roads meeting at the same point!
    A bit more information please.

  8. Listening to those ranting on the radio you would think the sky is falling. This is a good thing for the country. Another major resort, the yacht club has begun to return to life and local jobs and payroll.

  9. Please don’t be fooled NJ2Cay. Dart puts his money where his pocket is, nowhere else. We already have our very own Thneedsville here in Cayman, and this will be an extension of it.

    Please don’t’ be so cynically narrow-minded AJ. It goes beyond the asphalt. That long thin stretch of beach is one of the most amazing views in the world, and we are losing it (for a piece of land in WB!). It’s not right!!

  10. DART if you are so concerned about Cayman —- put some money toward this crime rage that is going on. I am sure you can find some hitmen that could come in here and combat these criminals or better yet why not put some cash toward some TRAINED detectives who can spot this activity and cause it to cease. Besides before the road we had massive traffic locks in WB now we have a perfectly good road UNFINISHED that helped this problem NOw you want to close one of those roads…..what jobs will be created for Caymananians? How many Cayman people are working in Camana Bay??? Janitor waitress – certainly not one of your white collar postitions. Cayman what ia a dart??? A sharp object throw to stab into a surface – get it? He is doing this for Dart and no other reason not any improving for Cayman. What is wrong with the way it is now the way it has been for donkey years. Lets shut off the beach road and divide..giving Dart another little town of his own for the elite…guess what the elite can get robbed too. Besides he didnt even spell Camana Bay correctly if he was concerned with the island would it not have been spelled CaYmana Bay???

  11. Funny how people put Dart Enterprises down yet regularly suggest that he should be doing the things that Caymans Government is responsible for like fighting crime. The fact is that Dart Enterprises is a Business not a charity yet they seem to be willing to give back unlike other large companies in Cayman including the Cayman owned companies. No development company does anything without expecting to make a profit in the long wrong, so don’t blame Dart for making decision that will benefit him and turn a profit.

    If this is such a bad Deal for Cayman and people are so against it the alternative would be for each and every Caymanian resident born and immigrated to come out of their own pockets to pay for the needed infrastructure. Don’t like the Dump move then fix it yourself with your own money, don’t blame Dart, Blame your leaders who wasted away Caymans money on things like big expensive schools and Administration buildings while your Garbage just piled up in Georgetown, and roads fall apart and stay dark.

    People like to point the finger at other people for their own mistakes.

    But the hard truth is that right now Cayman needs Dart and everyone know that when someone needs you is when you get the best deals. At least Dart is willing to at least give something back, but yes I am sure he wants to make money only a fool would think differently.

    If Dart give you a Park and it falls apart it’s not his fault, you should have kept it up, Is it him that mashes is up ? no its you so point the finger at yourself.