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VIPA: Quantum-Class Cruise Ships Could Dock At Ann Abramson Marine Facility

CHARLOTTE AMALIE –– The Virgin Islands Port Authority’s board of governors is exploring an opportunity to increase cruise visitors to St. Croix by accommodating larger ships at the Ann E. Abramson Marine Facility in Frederiksted.

At its monthly board meeting held Thursday, the board approved a proposal from VIPA’s marine consultant, Moffat and Nichol, to analyze the feasibility of berthing Quantum class vessels at the Frederiksted pier.

Although cruise line officials have expressed an interest in bringing the larger ships to St. Croix, the Abramson facility was not built to accommodate Quantum-class ships.

The largest vessels that currently berth at the pier are the Radiance class ships, which have a capacity of up to 2,501 passengers. The Quantum class is the third largest class of cruise ships and each call could bring up to 4,905 visitors to St. Croix.

The analysis will determine what modifications to the pier are needed to berth the Quantum ships and the most cost-effective method to implement the changes.

VIPA will pay $86,500 for the study that will be funded via its Fiscal Year 2019 capital projects budget.

Board members also took the following actions at Thursday’s meeting:

  • Conducted its annual election of board officers and voted to appoint José Penn as the board’s chairman, Yvonne E. L. Thraen as its vice chair and Marvin Forbes as the board’s secretary. The board also decided which members would serve on its Finance, Property, Projects and Operations, and Personnel committees.
  • Ratified a Jan. 25, 2019 poll vote approving a $112,949.51 three-year contract with Oshkosh for performance inspection and servicing the Airport Rescue and Firefighter vehicles at the Cyril E. King Airport, St. Thomas.
  • Approved Task Order #13 to Lemartec, Inc. in the amount of $1,710,469 to provide labor and materials to repair the CEKA air cargo building, funded via VIPA insurance funds.
  • Approved Task Order #74 to Lemartec, Inc. in the amount of $549,761, funded via insurance monies, for architectural and engineering services for hurricane repair damages, including: CEKA and Henry E. Rohlsen Airport (HERA) landside & apron lighting repairs; VIPA’s St. Thomas Administrative Building repairs; and the CEKA and HERA terminal interior repairs
  • Approved American Infrastructure Development (AID) Task Order #10C in the amount of $74,960 to extend construction administration services beyond the original contract date due to contractor-related delays for the HERA Apron Rehabilitation Project Phase Three. This task order is funded via liquidated damages. AID is VIPA’s St. Croix aviation consultant.
  • Authorized AID Task Order #12B to provide professional services including project management, inspection and quality assessments for the HERA Apron Rehabilitation Project Phase Four, funded via FAA funds and VIPA’s FY 2019 budget.
  • Awarded a $197,285 contract to Marco St. Croix, Inc. to demolish the hurricane-damaged general cargo building at the Wilfred “Bomba” Allick Port and Transshipment Center on St. Croix, funded by insurance monies.
  • Approved Addendum #4 to Atkins, not to exceed $196,262, to provide professional engineering services for the modification of construction documents for the Gordon A. Finch Molasses Pier Terminal and Roll On/Roll Off Dock Project, and to assist with the rebidding phase of this project. VIPA intends to rebid this project in Feb. 2019.
  • Authorized the Executive Director to amend Section J of the VIPA’s marine tariff as follows:
  • – Amend free cargo storage time from 5 days to 2 days on St. Croix.
  • – Amend free cargo storage time at the Crown Bay Sandfill on St. Thomas to 12 hours for inbound cargo, and no free time for outbound cargo (due to limited space and safety precautions).
  • – Added the restriction of hazardous material storage per the U.S. Coast Guard’s 33 Code and Federal Regulations (CFR) 154 – Facilities Transferring Oil or Hazardous Material in Bulk.
  • – Require that an agent or person in charge is identified for all cargo stored on VIPA property.
  • Authorized the Executive Director to select a vendor to operate a paid parking facility at the VIPA-owned gravel lot adjacent to the Theovald E. Moorehead Dock and Terminal at Enighed Pond, St. John.
  • Authorized the Executive Director to approve Love City Car Ferries’ request to add additional barge service between Red Hook and Cruz Bay. • Approved the reorganization of the VIPA accounting department by deleting two vacant positions and replacing them with a Senior Accountant and an Accountant. The positions will be funded using monies already budgeted for the vacancies.
  • Approved the hiring of a harbor pilot for St. Croix.
  • Approved the creation and filling of a Deputy Executive Director position.
  • The board also took several actions during its executive session:
  • 1. Authorized a revised marine tariff pilotage rate adjustment schedule;
  • 2. Approved a proposal for the St. Croix harbor pilots;
  • 3. Approved the creation of a Chief Maintenance Mechanic position;
  • 4. Approved over-budget salary increases for FY18;
  • 5. Ratified a poll vote relative to the promotion of an employee; and
  • 6. Board members were updated on the Anguilla Municipal Solid Waste Landfill on St. Croix
Ann E. Abramson Marine Facility in Frederiksted, St. Croix
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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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