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Sustainable Cayman issues Assessment of Route Options for the East-West Arterial - Alternative Route 2 is “cheaper, shorter, safer”

Environment 04 Dec, 2023 Follow News

Sustainable Cayman issues Assessment of Route Options for the East-West Arterial - Alternative Route 2 is “cheaper, shorter, safer”

Sustainable Cayman have today released a new report, produced with support from the RSPB in the UK, covering alternative routes of the East-West Arterial (EWA) Road Extension and their impacts for the highway expansion project proposed by the National Roads Authority (NRA).

The report evaluates three different alternative routes based on:

i) social impacts & accessibility,

ii) environmental impact,

iii) climate resilience,

iv) the potential cost of building the road.

The report concludes that the alternative Route 2 is the most cost-effective option, as it has the lowest costs among the feasible alternatives. The report estimates that Route 2 would cost $61.90 million to construct compared to over $70 million for the NRA proposed route. These figures are based on an FOI which gave the budgetary costs for materials and labour estimated in 2015.

The report also acknowledges that no alternative route would fully solve the existing bottleneck problem at the intersection of Hurley’s roundabout, as it would only increase the capacity to the east of this point. However, the report argues that Route 2 would still improve the traffic flow and reduce the travel time for the average commuter.

Further, Route 2 would have the least negative impact on the environment and the community, as it would avoid cutting through the Central Mangrove Wetland and the associated flood risks for the surrounding communities. The traffic issues currently faced in the Cayman Islands cannot be solved by a new road in isolation, the planning of infrastructure and development needs to be looked at holistically and any development should be designed and planned with the best interests of the people in mind and not just development economics.

The report invites the public to review the optioneering road route report and provide feedback and to engage in discussion with their MP. It is Sustainable Cayman’s view that taking care of our environment provides for a better quality of life, health and well-being. This is one of the main components of why we need to ensure that proper decisions are taken today to build a safer and more resilient future.

“I believe that infrastructure development should not come at the cost of environmental degradation. That is why we should always conduct rigorous environmental impact assessments before initiating any project. We should also adopt a holistic approach to development, which considers both human and natural systems, and the long-term sustainability of interventions. By doing so, we aim to create infrastructure that is not only functional and efficient, but also harmonious and resilient. The traffic issues currently faced by Caymanians cannot be solved by a new road in isolation” quoted Natalie Hall of the RSPB.

Sustainable Cayman is an organisation with a mission to promote environmental sustainability and conservation of our natural assets and therefore we have a keen interest in resolving the best outcome for transport connectivity and quality of life in the Cayman Islands for both current and future communities.

A copy of the report can be downloaded from their website here: https://bit.ly/3SYA1v3  or scan the QR code:

For those interested in finding out more or supporting Sustainable Cayman, you can contact us on:

info@sustainablecayman.org, follow our social media channels or join our growing Facebook community


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