A rendering of what the underpass on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway will look like. – Illustration: Submitted
Dart Realty (Cayman) Ltd. submitted an application for planning approval for the widening and realignment of part of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway on Thursday.
The project, which Dart made public late last year, involves the westward realignment of the section of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway currently abutting the Camana Bay development, and widening it from two lanes to a divided four-lane highway. The plan also calls for the new road to pass underneath an elevated ramp structure that would not only allow for safe pedestrian crossing above the road, but also for the expansion of the Camana Bay Town Centre across the road and an underground parking garage.
“This elevated section will commence immediately to the west of Books & Books and the Cayman Mac Store,” Dart said in a press release Thursday. “The operation of the current Esterley Tibbetts Highway will not be impacted during the construction. Once the new four-lane Esterley Tibbetts Highway bypass is complete, the existing road will transition to a low-speed internal road through Camana Bay.”
The project, which is estimated to cost US$40 million and take approximately 12 months to complete, is part of $400 million in development activity Dart committed to spend as part of the finalization of the National Roads Authority agreement. Among other things, that agreement included closing a section of West Bay Road and Dart paying for the extension of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway from Raleigh Quay Road to Batabano Road in West Bay.
Dart Chief Operating Officer Jackie Doak said the company was pleased to facilitate the road improvements while advancing the vision of Camana Bay as a “walkable sea-to-sound community.”
“The realignment and expansion of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway as a four-lane bypass with unimpeded traffic through Camana Bay represents an important step in developing the roads infrastructure to accommodate Cayman’s growth and anticipated traffic flow demands,” she said.
Dart said it collaborated with the National Roads Authority and the Central Planning Authority when preparing the plans, which have already been agreed to by the government in principle, pending the submission and approval of the plans.
National Roads Authority Managing Director Paul Parchment said his organization would work along with the Dart group, as it did with the previous extension of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, on the construction of the new road, which Dart said would employ an average of 70 workers per day for the duration of construction.
Premier Alden McLaughlin said he was pleased that the work would be starting.
“This will not only provide much needed improvements to our road infrastructure, but also a further boost to the Cayman economy and more jobs for Caymanians, during road construction and in the coming years as the Camana Bay build-out moves forward.”
The plans submitted Thursday do not include the proposal to create an overpass on a section of West Bay Road that will allow a planned new five-star hotel to be built over the top of the road. That element will represent the second phase of what Dart refers to as the “resort village” project.