Esterley Tibbetts extension opens today

Dart Road Opening


The two spurs linking Willie Farrington Drive and Batabano Road to the Esterley Tibbetts Highway in Grand Cayman will open Monday morning, according to the Cayman Islands Ministry of Planning. 

The two links will eliminate the need for northbound traffic to rejoin West Bay Road – passing the West Bay fire station, Cemetery Road and Genevieve Bodden Drive – in order to gain access to Willie Farrington Drive and to the Batabano shopping plaza and facilities at Morgan’s Harbour. 

The ministry cautioned motorists to observe speed limits of 40 miles per hour on the main highway, and 30 miles per hour on the single-lane link to Willie Farrington Drive. 

Dubbed “phase two” of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, the two spurs have been completed since the second quarter of the year, awaiting only the go-ahead from the National Roads Authority. The NRA completed safety checks earlier this summer, passing final gazettal of the two links to the Ministry of Planning.  

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Dart Realty built the original Esterley Tibbetts extension from Governor’s Way to Yacht Drive, creating a new roundabout and including the two freshly opened links, plus a third to the Cayman Islands Yacht Club and the Vista del Mar residential area. 

The extension opened March 13, leaving the two spurs outstanding. 

Dart built the $35 million highway as part of a December 2011 NRA agreement with the ForCayman Investment Alliance, a Dart-government private/public partnership for development of roads, parks, hiking trails, playgrounds and camping areas, as well as the redevelopment of the old Courtyard Marriott hotel and the expansion of Public Beach. 

The link between
Willie Farrington Drive and the Reverend Blackman Roundabout is 2,579 feet.. The link between Batabano Road and the roundabout is approximately 2,100 feet. 

“All work has been completed on the road, and the National Roads Authority has concluded the required safety audits to sanction the opening of the highway,” Friday’s announcement said. ”For drivers heading into West Bay from George Town, the highway has been constructed as a continuation of the existing dual-lane carriageway (full median) with the exception of the Willie Farrington connection, which is a single carriageway with no median.” 

Phase one of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway; known informally as the Harquail Bypass, was opened in late 2006. 

Dart Road Opening 2Dart Road Opening 1a

The road will eliminate the need for northbound traffic to rejoin West Bay Road in order to gain access to Willie Farrington Drive and the Batabano shopping plaza in West Bay. – Photo: David R. Legge
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  1. Great news for those traveling to and from West Bay especially during the morning and afternoon rush. Another added benefit will be increased property values in the area since it will be more accessible. Hopefully the road to the police station will open soon and lead to better response times for the Po Po.

    Now if we could get the east west arterial road done, we’d be set for the long haul.

  2. There is no sign of integrity when dealing with the Cayman Islands government, who would want to get into a public private partnership with them knowing that any deals or contract signed can likely be broken or backed out of by the next administration a few years later or even the current one. In this case all I see is that a deal was made with Dart to build these highways in exchange for land swaps and tax concessions so he could recover money spent. Now that Dart has done their part the government doesn’t want to live up to their part of the Deal. I really hope the outcome of this doesn’t completely destroy the reputation of Cayman as a good place to invest your money, you can also look at how they held the Ritz Hotel for ransom asking the new owners for more and more money. If any of you had something like this happen to you you’d all scream holly hell. Imagine if you went to the store and purchased a TV for 500 but when you go to pick it up you’re told that price is now 750. Or if you hand a contractor paint your house for a quoted price of 1000 and got a bill for 2000. On the other side suppose you painted someone’s house for a quoted price of 1000 and once complete they want to renegotiate the price.

    The fact here remains that even if you make a bad deal you are liable to live up to your side of it or risk destroying your Reputation and credit, in this case if the PPM do not they are going to open up a Pandora’s box that may never be closed. Dart will quickly file a lawsuit against the government which they will most likely win and they can easy demand immediate payment which will most likely cost us much more then numbers like 30 Million Dollars once interest and penalties are added on. Imagine Dart with a lien on Cayman Itself all because of an emotional fight over piece of road that we all know is not actually worth hundreds of Millions of dollars and realistically had no ocean view. We all know we’re much better off with the new road although two would be great, if we can only afford one the new one is far better than the old one.

    Speaking of the GT Dump the Government has been juggling this around for decades while it kept growing like a cancer on the landscape. Capping this one and having another properly built Waste Management Facility anywhere would be better than just watching this one keep growing and we all know that Dart is more likely to get it done then the government who really can’t afford it anyway so why not let Dart take responsibility for handing that heap of garbage when it will cost us Millions of Dollars that we don’t have to do it ourselves. We know Dart wants to clean it up because it’s an eyesore to Camana Bay which they have Hundreds of Millions of Dollars invested into so be rest assured they would do whatever it takes to make it something pleasing to the eyes and nose.

    People let’s stop all the nonsence and think about what’s best for the future Cayman as a whole. Every choice will not make everyone happy but the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Let’s focus all this energy on fighting the increasing crime wave hovering over our island and educating our children to compete in a an ever changing world. These are the two things that are most threatening to our future.