More than a half-dozen capital improvement projects are on schedule for the island of St. John, according to Department Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls.
“There is a lot of work taking place on St. John by several agencies and a number of these projects are ready to be launched,” Smalls said in a press release. “Several of these projects have been dormant for many years and my goal is to ensure that each project moves forward in an efficient manner.”
St. John Market and Parking Facility
The Department of Planning and Natural Resources, the V.I. Port Authority and the Office of the St. John Administrator have coordinated the development of the St. John Fish Market. One CZM application will be filed for the development of both the interim parking solution and the fish market.
The design, which will include plans and specifications, is being finalized and readied for submission to the CZM and for public bidding.
Construction is slated to begin in the third quarter of this year and a total of $2.2 million is available for both projects. Remaining funds will be utilized for architectural and engineering services towards the development of a permanent parking facility.
Revitalization of Frank Powell Park
The Department of Public Works in collaboration with the St. John Administrator has completed the final review of plans and specifications for the revitalization of Frank Powell Park. Advertisements for bids will take place shortly for this $300,000 project.
Bordeaux Mountain/Bethany/John Heads Road
By the end of March, DPW will commence work on Bordeaux Mountain Road. This work is estimated at $1.2 million. Additionally, in the third quarter of this year, work will commence on both the Bethany Road and the Kings Hill Road. Both projects are estimated at just over $1 million.
Route 104/Development of Bus Shelters
In September 2009, DPW broke ground for the first ARRA funded project in the territory. This project, on Route 104 in St. John, includes road construction, overlay of the pavement, drainage improvements, installation of guard rails and new signage on 2.8 miles of Route 104.
A contract was awarded in the amount $3.5 million of which $940,000 of the total cost is being allocated to seven local contractors who qualify under the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program.
Four bus shelters on St. John will be renovated through funds received from ARRA-related grants. Stone Masonry, Inc. was selected to perform this work at a cost of $150,000. Work will commence by the end of March.
Cruz Bay Roundabout
The project in Cruz Bay is about 90 percent completed. The federally-funded project began in August 2008. At a cost of $6.9 million, Island Roads is slated to complete work by the end of June, ahead of schedule. About $1.3 million or approximately 20 percent of the total construction cost went to local contractors under Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program.
During this month, DPW will publicly advertise for the design and construction of two new passenger ferryboats. Funding has been realized through a grant award in the amount of $3 million. The new vessels are expected during the latter part of this year.
St. John School
The Virgin Islands Government received a $200,000 grant award from the Department of Interior for the development of a new school on St. John. The funding will go towards establishing program and schematic designs for the school. DPW will advertise for bids this month.
St. John Ambulance Boat
The Department of Health has solicited bids for a state-of-the-art ambulance boat. This vessel will have the capacity to perform in all types of weather and off-shore conditions. This vessel will reduce response time while improving on rescue operations, maneuverability and will have the capacity to access shallow bays and various inlets along the St. John coastline. A vendor should be selected by the end of March 2010.
St. John Recreation Center
The Department of Housing, Parks and Recreation is presently developing plans and specifications for the development of the St. John Recreation Center. About $250,000 has been allotted for this project.
Smalls also said last week that almost daily work is continuing on the patching of Centerline Road, improving overall traffic safety and making road shoulder repairs. A couple of the scenic vistas on St. John have been reopened, he added.
“The deJongh-Francis administration has undertaken more than $18 million in capital projects on St. John and I intend to update the community, especially the residents of St. John, on these various projects that will be taking shape in the next few months,” Smalls said.