The beginning of the school year has led to an increase in traffic but changed school hours and continuing roadworks should alleviate congestion over the next few weeks, according to Joey Hew, the minister responsible for infrastructure.

Speaking at the government COVID-19 press briefing on Wednesday, Hew said government expects that the readjustment of school hours “back to where they were previously” should help. “It is our anticipation that over the next few days as persons adjust to those new hours that we will see some relief in traffic.”

The change of school hours to an earlier time has been blamed in part for causing traffic congestion during the morning rush hour.

In addition, major roadworks continue at several key traffic pinch-points.

While the first leg of the East-West Arterial Road from the Chrissie Tomlinson roundabout had been extended by National Roads Authority crews to three lanes during the lockdown, these three lanes will be taken all the way to the Grand Harbour roundabout during the next few weeks.

Utility companies have started to move utilities to enable the three-lane extension between the CUC roundabout (by Kings Sports Centre) and Grand Harbour roundabout, Hew said.

“We should see major work happening there in the weeks to come,” he said.

At the same time, construction of the Grand Harbour connector is about to begin. This connector road links the CUC roundabout to Grand Harbour and is expected to relieve some of the pressure on the roundabout and help move the eastbound traffic during afternoon rush hour.

To reduce traffic at Cayman’s busiest roundabout, Butterfield roundabout next to A. L. Thompson’s, work was started two weeks ago on the first phase of the airport connector road that will be linking the Cayman International School roundabout on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway to Sparky Drive.

The second phase will then connect Sparky Drive to Airport Road by the George Town Yacht Club.

Hew added, “Our traffic modelling system has told us the breakthrough from the CIS roundabout to Sparky Drive will alleviate a lot of the pressure on the Butterfield roundabout and by extension North Sound Road, which sees a heavy amount of traffic on a daily basis.”

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