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Government 06 May, 2023 Follow News


Min. Bryan on Cayman Conversation

By Cayman Conversations

Hon. Minister for Tourism and Ports, Kenneth Bryan, continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to seeing the long-proposed East-West Arterial Road Extension ‘up and running’.

Addressing the issue in Parliament Mr Bryan pushed back and those he termed ‘environmental extremists’, challenged his own PACT government and Premier to get moving on the project and called on Cayman residents to lobby their MPs to get the job done.

The passion and commitment that he displayed about the issue while debating in Parliament was evident when he appeared on Cayman Conversations with Caymanian Times publisher Ralph Lewis.

Mr Bryan again addressed the necessity of the long-considered project, whose planning has spanned governments since 2005.

“It has to happen. There's no question,” Mr Bryan affirmed regarding the 12-mile road project.

“But there is this challenge in this balance that needs to be created between timeliness of the people's need for something such as East-West Arterial to alleviate the pressures that they feel, particularly those in eastern districts where they sit in traffic for two hours every single day, Monday to Friday, to go to work and to come home. That's just untenable.”

The project which should remove crippling bottlenecks and congestion, has been at a standstill for almost 20 years bogged down in paperwork, inaction, and to some degree, indecision.

The Tourism Minister, who until recently also held the transport portfolio said it’s urgent now for a timeline to be placed on the delivery of the project along with a commitment to work towards realising it.

His Cabinet colleague Mr Jay Ebanks reported to Parliament that the voluminous documentation associated with the project is being reviewed with a plan to move forward including the Environmental Impact Assessment)EIA).

Speaking in his current capacity as Minister for Tourism and Ports, Mr Bryan lamented the challenges faced in opening up the eastern districts to tourism opportunists due to the lack of adequate roadway.

“The East-West Arterial is a major component of tourism. One of the negative feedbacks that we get is that traffic is a problem for the delivery of a tourism product or service. And that East-West Arterial will help alleviate that.”

Another benefit of the EWA as seen by Min. Bryan is that of inward diversification where business and investment opportunities are opened up in the eastern districts for a range of services.

In addition to tourism, he listed relocating some government offices to the area resulting in a reduction in the cost on the public purse from leasing and renting office space. It also makes it convenient for residents of the area and also cuts down on traffic.

Mr Bryan also cited opening up home ownership and other real estate opportunities for Caymanians by making currently inaccessible tracts of land in the east available for development.

"We are having a problem with homeownership and landownership by Caymanians based on the supply and demand chain. I particularly believe that this road access allows us to get to more land, which can be subdivided to bring more land on the market. So I believe this road will facilitate that.”

The Tourism Minister also envisions a bigger benefit of the East-West Arterial: a new town in the east developed by Caymanian investors, boosting services and the economy of the area - and ultimately reducing traffic congestion.

With concerns of the environmental impact still hovering over the project, Mr Bryan remains convinced of the practicalities and benefits of the project: "I do believe that we can protect the environment while still doing the road," he stated.

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