Parts of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway (ETH) have been sinking for years, and now the National Roads Authority (NRA) say it has become hazardous for driver traversing in the area.
“We’ve know for years now that is is sinking, and we have been monitoring it,” said NRA’s Senior Road Engineer Edison Jackson.
When building majority of the ETH, the NRA dug down to the bedrock and built up a strong steady foundation. However the intersection of the ETH and Canal Point Drive required a different type of construction.
Digging down to the bedrock could have resulted in the unraveling of the foundation of the nearby apartment and shopping complex, which flank the road on both sides. It was a risk the NRA said they were not willing to take. Instead they implemented a different construction style called Geo-Tech Style.
The Geo-Tech style did not require digging down to the bedrock in stead simply removing a few hundred tons of mud, and other debris for the road site. Then laying a large grid like structure on top of the remain mud, followed by filling and leveling off. The subsequent result is that the material which was never excavated is now giving way to the under the pressure of round the clock commuting.
“The impact on the buildings adjacent to the road will be significantly less through repairing the affected areas, compared to the potential damage that could have been caused had we done it that way to begin with,” said Mr. Jackson.
In order to complete the repairs, the inner lanes on both sides of the road form the Safe Haven Intersection to the vicinity of Canal Point Drive have been closed. But the knock on effect it has had on traffic during peak hours has been severe. Cayman 27 received reports of long lines of traffic stretching on for miles. Mr. Jackson says they are in the process of bringing on a new system that should help to aleviate that traffic, but in the mean time he advice people wanting to travel along the ETH to do so outside of peak traffic hours if they hope to avoid longer than normal waits.