Ten years ago, before the roads were built at Camana Bay, a core team gathered to research and develop guiding principles that would influence the decision of road names throughout the town, then and for years to come. In addition to Dart executives, the team included outside contractors and notable Caymanian figures who could speak to the islands’ history and heritage, including pioneers in education, the shipping industry, fishing and the government.
Warren Conolly, whose family dates back to the earliest settlements of the Cayman Islands, and Philip Pedley, who was a long-time civil servant and past director of the Cayman Islands National Archive, were both instrumental in the shaping of the guidelines and identifying useful reference books and periodicals.
Chief among these principles was a logical connection to the tangible surroundings of each road, pathway and courtyard, which would assist all visitors of Camana Bay with wayfinding and recognition.
In June the National Roads Authority opened the new Camana Bay Town Centre roundabout and vehicular underpass, realigning the Esterley Tibbetts Highway through Camana Bay westward. Moving the traffic onto the new highway meant the old section of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway became a local access street into Camana Bay and warranted a change in name.
Having served its purpose as part of Cayman’s first highway for over a decade, choosing a new name for the road was not taken lightly. Suggestions were considered around the shape of the road, its surroundings, its past and present uses and even the giant kapok trees in the landscaped median.
After much deliberation, it was settled; the retired highway would be called Emeritus Drive. Derived from the Latin word emereri, which was originally used to describe soldiers who had completed their duty, the road name gently honours the street for what it is: a veteran among infrastructure in and around Camana Bay.
The Rise, the new pedestrian path that travels up and over the vehicular underpass on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, stands 32 feet above sea level. It is the first open-air, public path of its kind to be built in Grand Cayman, beckoning a new wave of infrastructure possibilities for the Cayman Islands.
The Rise has quickly become a favourite setting for joggers seeking alternatives to flat terrains, tourists snapping panoramic photos of both Seven Mile Beach and the North Sound, and unhurried walkers just out for a look-see.
For those looking for bucket list-worthy things to do in the Cayman Islands, watching the sun both rise and set from the top of The Rise is highly recommended.