Dirt road to CARIFTA opens

This dirt road between Walkers Road and Olympic Way will be open during the CARIFTA Games. - Photo: Norma Connolly
Click to enlarge.

Drivers looking to attend the CARIFTA Games this weekend will have another option for getting to the event after the National Roads Authority temporarily opened a quarter-mile-long dirt road for motorists to use.

The road is part of ongoing works to create a connector road from the vicinity of Burger King on Walkers Road to the northern end of Olympic Way, near the entrance to the University College of the Cayman Islands and the Truman Bodden Sports Complex, where the games will be held over the Easter weekend, April 20-22.

The National Roads Authority completed the first stage of the works to coincide with the CARIFTA Games. “This has involved successfully clearing and levelling the existing ground, to allow the route to be used by CARIFTA organisers as an additional access way for persons attending the Games this weekend. Further works will continue after the Games,” the NRA noted in a press release.

“It will only be a dirt road for this weekend and, while that may be a novel experience for some drivers, it was important we made the route accessible to CARIFTA organisers, particularly to help with traffic relief during the peak periods,” Edward Howard, acting managing director of the NRA, said.

After the CARIFTA Games are finished, the road will be closed off and full construction works will begin, starting with utility providers who will install underground services, Howard added.

The NRA also plans a further phase to connect Olympic Way to Academy Way, by providing a link road through what was originally the carpark area of the old George Hicks High School, in a bid to combat congestion during peak hours.

Chairman of the NRA Board, Donovan Ebanks, said proposals to create this link road had been around for 30 years. “It was a recommendation of the Master Ground Transportation Plan in 1988,” he said.

The first phase of the works will create bicycle lanes in each direction and a continuous pavement along one side, from Walkers Road to UCCI. Construction is scheduled to be completed by August 2019 at a cost of approximately $1.5 million, including land compensation costs, according to the NRA.

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