Earlier this year, Premier Alden McLaughlin announced that the Cayman Islands Government and Dart Realty (Cayman) Ltd. had reached agreement on a Third Amendment to the NRA Agreement. This included a new commitment by Dart to invest an additional US$400 million in development activity in Grand Cayman beyond the more than US$300 million currently being expended on the Kimpton hotel and residences.
Today, Dart is starting the first stage of its US$400 million development commitment to the Cayman Islands by submitting an application to the Central Planning Authority for the widening and realignment of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway.
Premier Alden McLaughlin noted “I was pleased in February to announce that Government and Dart had agreed to a revised, and improved, NRA Agreement that includes a commitment to new development over the next 10 years. I am more pleased that this work is now 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 application encompasses a four-lane divided highway, vehicular underpass and construction of a pedestrian friendly ramp structure over the realigned Esterley Tibbetts Highway. This elevated section will commence immediately to the west of Books & Books and the Cayman MAC Store. 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 infrastructure is the first phase of the master planning to facilitate Camana Bay’s expansion towards Seven Mile Beach where a new five star hotel and residences will be constructed. A second application will include a vehicular underpass on West Bay Road.
“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,” said Jackie Doak, Chief Operating Officer of Dart Realty. “Dart is pleased to facilitate these long-planned road improvements while advancing the vision of Camana Bay as a walkable sea-to-sound community, the Caribbean’s only master planned town designed based on new urbanism principles. ”
Dart collaborated with several governmental agencies, including the National Roads Authority and the Central Planning Authority, in the preparation of these plans.
“As with the previous extension of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway to West Bay and other road infrastructure projects, the National Roads Authority and Dart continue to work together to ensure the infrastructure delivers effective solutions aligned with our responsibility to build and maintain roads, improve transportation and enhance pedestrian safety,” said Paul Parchment, Managing Director of the National Roads Authority.
Within approximately 12 months of construction starting, traffic will be able to be rerouted to the newly gazetted highway. Dart has not yet set the timeline for commencement of work which is estimated to cost US$40 million and average 70 workers per day for the duration of the construction.