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Mapp Says V.I. Road Projects Are Being Prioritized … Melvin Evans Hwy Repairs Contract Signed

EASY RIDING: Scott Free Road on St. Thomas (orange plastic barriers present) and other roads across the territory are in the process of being restored. Roads such as Mandahl Bay Road (above) have already been repaired after sustaining significant hurricane damage.

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Governor Kenneth Mapp said that he met with V.I. Public Works Department personnel this week to prioritize planned road work and to review a list of ongoing and recently completed projects. Among the priority areas named were Whim Road, Anna’s Hope, Smithfield, Estate Work and Rest, Union and Mt. Washington, Estate Diamond/ Mt. Pleasant and Queen Mary Highway on St. Croix; Centerline Road on St. John; and Raphune Hill, Anna’s Retreat, Estate Tutu, Peterborg and Pilgrim’s Terrace Bypass on St. Thomas.

The Governor also announced his approval of a contract on Thursday for major improvements to St. Croix’s Melvin Evans Highway. The work – which includes paving, repairs and safety provisions – will take place from West Airport Road to the Industrial Park Intersection. V.I. Paving has been contracted to complete the $5.6 million project, fully funded by Federal Highway Administration GARVEE Bonds. The contract calls for the work to be completed within 165 days.

In April, the Governor announced that all the territory’s primary roads would be completely rebuilt to US Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Highway standards. Before this massive project begins, the Mapp-Potter Administration is restoring some of the more deplorable roads that require immediate repair. Earlier this year, a full assessment of the territory’s 1,273-mile public road system was conducted to determine conditions after the storms and the estimated cost of a comprehensive rebuilding and repair program. After completion of the assessment, the Department of Public Works, with the assistance of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, concluded it will cost $1.2 billion to complete the modernization of all of the Territory’s roads.

Governor Mapp indicated that more than $530 million has already been identified and will be invested into the first phase of the construction. He has said that in three to five years the Virgin Islands road system will be “virtually unrecognizable”.

“I am committed to modernizing our road system,” the Governor said. “With the support of the federal government and the hard work of many players in the Mapp-Potter Administration, our roads will be completely transformed.”

The new roads will be upgraded with proper foundations, drainage and outfitted with American Disabilities Act certified sidewalks, reflectors, traffic signals, and crosswalks, Governor Mapp said. They will also accommodate water, sewage, and power lines, fiber optic cables, and will be suitable for various other communication systems. New street signs will be lit at night and feature the Department of Tourism’s logo of the Moko Jumbie at the center. In addition to reconstructing the road systems, funds will be set aside to remove all the dumpsters off the roads. In their place, refuse centers will be constructed throughout the Territory to support its modernization and beautification. Some of the Territory’s roads will receive temporary fixes until they can be fully reconstructed. There will also be many areas where Public Works will authorize asphalt overlays until permanent construction can begin.

Priority areas for roadwork include:

ST. CROIX

  • Anna’s Hope
  • Smithfield
  • Union and Mt. Washington
  • Estate Diamond/ Mt. Pleasant
  • Sierra Verde Road Repairs, East End
  • Queen Mary Highway
  • Melvin Evan Highway (2 additional segments)
  • All for the Better Residential Roads, East End
  • Tipperary Road, East End
  • Old Castle Coakley Roads
  • Route 64 – West Airport Road near Cruzan Rum
  • Route 622 at Estate Work and Rest
  • Route 63 – Whim Road near the Ballpark
  • Route 68 from Schuster’s Water Services to Cool Out Bar
  • Route 681 – Hess Road
  • Route 707 – Casper Holstein Drive
  • Clifton Hill Phase 2 (includes roundabout at LaReine Intersection)
  • Spring Gut Road
ST. THOMAS
  • Pilgrim Terrace Bypass
  • Tutu Bay/Mandahl
  • Fortuna Bay Road
  • Bovoni Roads
  • Annas Retreat/ Tutu Neighborhood Roads
  • Scott Free Road
  • Raphune Hill Phase 3
  • Veterans Drive
  • Peterborg

ST. JOHN

  • Estate Adrian (Centerline Road)
  • Estate Pastory (Centerline Road)
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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1989. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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