Town hall meeting in Simpson Bay – Plan: additional pier Simpson Bay Lagoon

POSTED: 09/5/12 10:52 AM

St. Maarten – A better east-west connection, an additional pier outside of the Simpson Bay Lagoon for small cruise vessels and yachts too large to enter the lagoon were some of the highlights that surfaces during a town hall meeting on Monday evening about the draft development plan for the Simpson Bay and Beacon Hill area.
Project leader Thijs Summers explained the main ideas that have been put into the plan so far to the audience. Traffic congestion, a lack of space for pedestrians, cyclists and joggers, and water on the road are a few of the main headaches in the area.
“The causeway is not a cure for all, it won’t solve all the problems in Simpson Bay Village,” Summers said. “But the causeway is part of the larger road network plan.”
Upgrades of the union road and the old Cakehouse Road are part of plans for future development. In the end this must result in a better east-west connection.
“The current road system is vulnerable,” Summers pointed out. “There is only one main entrance road from the airport to the island. The bridge in Simpson Bay needs replacement. From a safety point of view it is important to have more than one access road.”
The development plan aims to reserve space for upgrading the Airport Road, but also for future roads. One of the solutions to alleviate traffic congestion is the construction of service roads while keeping several lanes free for transit traffic. Whether the bridge will be replaced by another bridge, or that the solution will be a tunnel, remains an open question, but the development plan reserves space to execute these projects.
“The expansion plans for the airport are incorporated in the development plan,” summers said. One of the questions that need to be answered is which type of businesses will be allowed in the area: only airport related companies like car rentals, or also for instance casinos or hotels.

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