The development of a boardwalk and other amenities along South Sound Road is expected to be completed by the end of August at a cost of $1.3 million, according to the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure.
The project along South Sound Road entails the construction of a 1,500-foot-long boardwalk, benches, parking, and a bike lane in the South Sound area near the Cayman Crossing subdivision.
Government said in January that the project should be completed by the end of June, but what the ministry termed “robust” construction needs have pushed that date by about two months.
On Tuesday, several workers were drilling drainage on the east side of the boardwalk to protect it from floods.
“The construction of the boardwalk had to be robust because of its proximity to the sea and the natural undulation of the beach ridge,” government said. “There is also a ‘peat’ layer [plant matter] under the sand which can cause movement of the layers above it as water is absorbed or released.”
Government’s update explained that if the boardwalk was simply constructed on top of compacted fill like a typical sidewalk, the material could wash away in inclement weather, crack or wrap over time and eventually lead to structural issues.
“The project is constructed with piles and a combination of concrete members and inlays of Trex planking,” government explained.
Infrastructure Minister Joey Hew touted the benefits that the development will bring to the nearby community.
“The South Sound boardwalk will be an open and accessible space that secures some of the remaining waterfront vistas that our islands have to offer for Caymanians and residents alike,” Mr. Hew said. “The walk also allows beach explorers to feel safe from road traffic as they enjoy a morning stroll or a Caymanian sunset.”
Government had originally submitted plans for the development in June 2016 as part of an overall beautification and improvement scheme for the area. In October 2016, Premier Alden McLaughlin said that work would be completed by the end of that year.
However, no work seemed to have taken place until the National Roads Authority changed the alignment of the road and announced last September that the change was made to accommodate the boardwalk construction. Dozens of traffic cones have extended along the roadside for months, but no work took place until February.
Government explained in a press release in January that it was working out “technical details” with the project contractor.
“A contract was signed with The Phoenix Construction Group late last year, but some final technical details had to be worked out prior to commencement,” government said at the time.