There is relief in sight for the traffic problems along the Seven Mile Beach corridor.
Work on the expansion of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway through Camana Bay and southward toward the Butterfield roundabout is progressing on schedule and will be completed within 12 months, according to a press release issued Thursday by the Dart Group, which is undertaking the project.
Several aspects of Dart’s original plans for the Esterley Tibbetts Highway realignment have changed somewhat after consultations with Cayman’s National Roads Authority and overseas transportation consultants. An amendment to the existing approval has been submitted to the Central Planning Authority.
“The amendment includes a northerly realignment and expansion of the Camana Bay roundabout as well as a new mini roundabout,” the press release stated. “This expansion, collaboratively designed with and approved by the NRA, will address current traffic issues as well as facilitate future growth.”
The expansion project entails several previously reported elements that remain unchanged:
The Esterley Tibbetts Highway will be widened to four lanes through the Camana Bay area and southward to the Butterfield roundabout.
The Esterley Tibbetts Highway will be realigned westward through Camana Bay, with the current divided road through that area becoming part of the Town Centre.
The current roundabout at the eastern end of Lawrence Boulevard will be closed and a new dual carriage roundabout created a short distance northwest of the current one.
A new mini roundabout will be created near the middle of Lawrence Boulevard that will serve as a link to the Esterley Tibbetts Highway.
Another new roundabout will be constructed on the southern portion of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, about halfway between the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands and the Lakeshore apartments.
The Esterley Tibbetts Highway through the Camana Bay area will feature a vehicular underpass beneath an “elevated plane” that will allow the Town Centre to continue development over the top of the road.
With regard to the underpass, which will be the first of its kind in the Cayman Islands, a long and elaborate system of rebar to support the concrete structures has already been put in place.
“Rebar has never appeared so artistically beautiful,” said Dart Realty Chief Operating Officer Jackie Doak. “The architectural curve of the vehicular underpass is visually stunning, and we are excited to participate in the delivery of essential roads infrastructure.”
The Dart Group, which is completing the work in consultation with the National Roads Authority, will fund all of it with the exception of the southern portion of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway between the new roundabout that will be constructed there and the Butterfield roundabout. Although Dart will construct that portion as well, the Cayman Islands government will reimburse it for the cost of that work.