The VINP’s $429,000 project at Maho Bay includes renovating the existing pavilion, at right, which will be complete by mid-August. The area will also have new parking, concrete pathways and rest rooms.
There will soon be a spiffy new venue for parties and gatherings in the V.I. National Park.
Renovations to the old Maho Bay Pavilion perched on the beach at Big Maho Bay should be complete by the middle of August, according to VINP Superintendent Mark Hardgrove.
“The existing pavilion has been restored and reroofed with a new waterside deck constructed and new windows and doors being installed,” said Hardgrove. “It will be open to the public in four weeks.”
The large pavilion, which is being restored, will be available for public use through VINP’s special use permit, according to Hardgrove.
VINP contractors are also constructing a new, smaller, open-air pavilion next to the refurbished pavilion, which residents will be able to use without making reservations, Hardgrove added.
“The large renovated pavilion will be available through our special use permit reservation system,” said the VINP Superintendent. “The new smaller pavilion is also nearly completed and will be available without reservation.”
Also nearing completion at Maho Bay is men’s and women’s dome rest rooms, located at the far west end of the beach. As contractors wrap up work in the area, the focus will be on landscaping and installing new picnic tables, trash facilities and grills.
The entire Maho Bay pavilion area project cost VINP a total of $429,000, according to Hardgrove.
While the renovated pavilion will require a VINP use permit, a new pavilion, above, will be open without reservation at Maho. Dome bathrooms are being constructed on the far west end of the beach, above at far left.
There are 11 additional parking spaces planned near the pavilion area at Maho Bay which will include two handicapped accessible spots connected to the pavilions via a concrete pathway, Hardgrove explained.
“The final phase at Maho Bay will be the landscaping, picnic tables, trash facilities, grills and paving the parking area along the adjacent road,” he said. “Concrete walkways will tie the site together and meet accessibility standards to include two handicapped parking spaces.”
As the facilities along the beach are getting upgrade, parking at Maho Bay will be following new patterns soon as well. VINP maintenance officials continue to work on clearing out a parking area located across North Shore Road on the far east end of Maho Bay.
In the wake of rain and high winds a few weeks ago, several trees in the area fell down, which delayed work, explained Hardgrove.
“We’re still working on the parking area and we’re moving along,” said the VINP Superintendent. “Recent rains and wind have caused some setbacks, but we will have the area safe and ready in the next month or so. The NPS is nearly completed with the clearing, new parking area and new entrance.”
“The contract is being awarded to remove the trailer from the site,” Hardgrove said. “We look forward to having this available and open to the public this summer.”
Once the parking lot and the spaces near the pavilion are complete, VINP officials will no longer allow parking along the beach at Maho Bay, Hardgrove added.
More directional arrows and traffic control devices are also slated for Maho Bay, according to Hardgrove.
“The contractor is putting the final striping on the outside lanes and installing traffic control devices along North Shore Road at Maho Bay to keep vehicles from parking on the beach-side sand,” he said. “More directional arrows will be installed at Maho Beach and rumble strips will be installed on both sides of the new speed bumps to alert visitors who are new to the island about the speed control devices.”
These plans will complete the VINP’s North Shore paving project and Hardgrove urged residents to drive with caution in the park.
“We are urging everyone to please watch their vehicle’s speed as we still have many hikers and exercisers using the areas,” said the VINP Superintendent.
Over on St. Thomas, VINP’s Red Hook Dock reconstruction, costing the park $658,000, should be complete this week, despite a few unexpected phases, according to Hardgrove.
“The entire structure had to be demolished due to structural failure and we expect the contractor to complete the work this week,” he said. “Caneel ferries, park staff and our commercial use operators have been very patient during the four months the facility has been closed.”
“The new dock will have new lighting and we installed security cameras which have been placed in the Red Hook parking area recording all of the activities in the area day and night,” said Hardgrove. “It’s looking great and will be open to the public this week.”