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Public Works Contractor To Start Road Work At Basin Triangle On Monday Night

CHRISTIANSTED — The Department of Public Works (DPW) said it will be doing roadwork in the Basin Triangle area of St. Croix next week.

DPW Contractor — VI Paving Inc., — will begin milling the roadway from Basin Triangle to Time Square in downtown Christiansted on Monday, February 28.

They will then continue milling from Basin Triangle to Pueblo Supermarket in Estate Richmond on March 2.

All milling will take place in the evenings from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., according to DPW.

Public Works Contractor To Start Road Work At Basin Triangle On Monday Night

“Motorists and pedestrians are urged to traverse this area with caution,” the department said.

DPW said it “appreciates the community’s patience as they work to improve road conditions throughout the territory.”

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Police Investigating Sunday Morning Rape At Bovoni Landfill In St. Thomas: VIPD

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Members of the VIPD’s Criminal Investigation Bureau were dispatched to the Schneider Regional Medical Center in regards to a reported rape which occurred at 4:30 a.m. Sunday, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

“An investigation has revealed that the incident occurred in the area of Gas Works/Bovoni Landfill,” VIPD Communications Director Glen Dratte said.

No further information was available from police about the incident.

This case is presently under investigation by the Criminal Investigation Bureau.

Any persons having information regarding this incident are asked to contact the Criminal Investigation Bureau at 340-774-2211 ex. 5576/5572. They can also contact 911, Crime stoppers VI., the Chiefs office at 340-715-5548 or the Commissioner’s Office at 340-715-5506.

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‘To Protect and Serve’ Virgin Islands Police Officer Assists Motorist With Flat Tire

CHRISTIANSTED — A member of the Virgin Islands Police Department took some extra time to help a family with a flat tire.

Sgt. Kirk Fieulleteau assisted a family who was struggling to change a flat tire in Peter’s Rest recently.

Sgt. Fieulleteau traveled to the VIPD motor pool in Castle Coakley to get an industrial car jack to complete the task.

“Community Policing at its best!” the VIPD said in a recent post on Facebook.

Virgin Islands Free Press readers were happy to see the boys in blue reaching out to the community, but still couldn’t help themselves when it came to commenting about overall governmental priorities.

“Hint: Fill in the potholes, please,” Robert Ferguson said. “Thank you for your community policing service.”

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Taxpayer: Bryan Ignores Ordinary People’s Everyday Misery From His Ivory Tower

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A frequent reader of the Virgin Islands Free Press had some strong words for the governor after seeing a Government House promotion on Facebook for his upcoming State of the Territory Address.

Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. will speak directly to the most important people in the U.S. Virgin Islands face-to-face when they are crammed into a standing-room-only setting at the Virgin Islands Legislature building in St. Thomas on Monday.

The V.I. Free Press reader, Ruby Atary, charged that Governor Bryan is out of touch with the misery ordinary people experience every day during their daily lives due to chief executive’s “neglect” of the major infrastructure problems in the territory.

“Governor. Sir, You need to drive around the island and see what’s happening and how public work fixed nicely and smoothly one public road and public neighborhood roads and skip one and the ones they fixed nicely where all the high positions peoples lives in that fixed road and we the tax and high government fees payers they skip our roads we don’t have a choice either hit our vehicles in these deep potholes and use our mortgage rent food money specially when we are single moms who have to work and serve and feed our kids we end up paying high payment to the mechanics or we drive on the neighbors lots to avoid the potholes and next morning we get cursed (the morning curse) while we are heading to work to serve the community and make sure we pays our government fees (duties) and taxes fees on time for the big position people can get there high big paid salaries on time,” Atary said.

Taxpayer: Bryan Ignores Ordinary People's Everyday Misery From His Ivory Tower
V.I. Department of Public Works photo of Route 104 in Cruz Bay on St. John.

“Mr Governor. We stood up next to you and supported for the first term hoping we will see the changes and end this corruption who you know and who have friends and family working in the government department. We as private small busses owners we are the one who got slapped from all triangles. Please consider us as well. Thank you and we will re think about the next term after. Please listen to the peoples ( we ) we are the Virgin Islanders we are not the enemy or the strangers. We are suffering.”

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Road Work Will Continue On Route 104 Near Starfish Market In St. John Monday

CRUZ BAY — The Department of Public Works is advising the community that on Monday, January 24, 2022, work will resume on the ER Project located on Route 104, near the Starfish Market on St. John.

Work has now switched to the eastbound lane, which will be closed for approximately eight weeks. During that time, the contractor – Island Roads Corporation – will reconstruct the concrete roadway and drainage, DPW said.

The lane is expected to reopen in March 2022. Motorists and pedestrians are urged to proceed with extreme caution and adhere to all safety directives from on-site flaggers.

The estimated cost of the project is $381,650, according to DPW.

Road Work Will Continue On Route 104 Near Starfish Market In St. John Monday

Follow DPW for more updates on the status of Emergency Relief Projects. The Department of Public Works appreciates the community’s patience as they work to improve road conditions throughout the territory.

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DPW Has High Hopes New Software Will Help It Track Road Work Projects Better

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The Department of Public Works (DPW) said it is implementing “strategic initiatives geared towards preserving, maintaining and strengthening the territory’s infrastructure.”

The most recent is the iWorQ Asset Management System, which launched internally in May of this year. iWorQ is a cloud-based, asset management software that will allow the department to manage and track work orders and assets, including, but not limited to, roads, sidewalks, guardrails, signs, traffic signals and landscaping.

The software provides recommendations for repairs and pavement treatments, scheduling preventative and routine maintenance, as well as increasing roadway lifespans. iWorQ also has a Citizen Engagement Module, whereby individuals can communicate directly with DPW personnel. Through this feature, citizens can report road damages, upload photos and provide GPS coordinates of areas needing repair. DPW personnel will have the ability to respond directly to work orders and provide real-time updates for more efficient workflows and project tracking.

Training and road assessments are expected to be completed this month. Members of the community may have already seen iWorQ vehicles assessing roads around the territory in preparation for the launch (See attached photo). The target date for the citizen portal to golive is October 1.

“I am excited about the possibilities and benefits of utilizing technology to make workflows more efficient,” said DPW Commissioner Derek Gabriel. “With the implementation of iWorQ, the community can look forward to better communication and greater transparency in the road repair process. Most importantly, the Citizen Engagement Module will offer more accountability and increased communication.”

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Delta Variant To Halt VITRAN Bus Service In St. Thomas-St. John This Week: DPW

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The Department of Public Works is advising the community that effective immediately all St. John VITRAN operations will be suspended until further notice.

On St. Thomas, fixed route services will be suspended from 9 a.m. tomorrow (Friday, August 6) until further notice.

The service interruptions will allow the department to test drivers for COVID-19. Once the department is notified of results, another notice will be distributed advising of service resumption dates.

DPW is urging the community to take personal responsibility by continuing to wear masks in all public places and to practice good hygiene to reduce the risk of contracting and/or spreading the coronavirus.

For more information on COVID-19, please visit the USVI Department of Health’s website, doh.vi.gov/coronavirus or text COVID19USVI to 888777.

Follow DPW on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @usvidpw. You can also log on to dpw.vi.gov and www.vitranvi.com to stay abreast of all things V.I. Public Works.

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DPW Issues Stop Work Order To Liberty Mobile Over ‘Unsafe Road Work’

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The Public Works Department has issued a stop work order on a project being performed on behalf of Liberty Communications USVI by construction contractor Bermudez, Longo, Diaz-Masso, LLC.

Virgin Islands Public Works Commissioner Derek Gabriel sent a letter to Liberty Communications of Puerto Rico Chief Executive Officer Naji Khoury, saying that “over the past two weekends, the department has been inundated by several reports of unsatisfactory and unsafe work in both the St. Croix and St. Thomas-St. John districts.”

“Most notably are the inadequate striping, performed by Lineas de Puerto Rico, Inc., in Christiansted on St. Croix, and unsafe driving conditions, mostly in the westbound lane of Route 33 between the Four Corners intersection and the Estate Hope/Pearl intersection,” on St. Thomas,” Gabriel said.

Gabriel added that his priority “will always be the safety of our public transportation infrastructure” and in his letter to Khoury wrote “these most recent, egregious actions demonstrate to me that Liberty, its contractors and subcontractors have no consideration or corporate responsibility for the public transportation infrastructure.”

“While we have made every effort to coordinate with the contractors on this project regarding the department’s expectations of traffic control and safety measures, there still seems to be a clear divide between the two parties,” Gabriel added. “At this time, I believe the prudent thing to do is to stop all work on this project for the safety of our residents. Before we allow for the contractors to re-start operations, we need assurances that this kind of irresponsible work will not happen again.”

The stop work order allows for necessary emergency repairs to improve the unsafe road conditions, according to the news release.

Customers in the territory have also been reporting service issues such as dropped calls, roaming charges and throttled data speeds.

A spokesperson for Liberty did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

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Sidewalk Repairs On Market Street Set To Begin Tomorrow, DPW Says

FREDERIKSTED — The Department of Public Works (DPW) is advising the community of upcoming construction on Market Street in Frederiksted, beginning tomorrow.

The department identified a sidewalk filled with mud and debris, which led to drainage challenges and stagnant water in the swale.

DPW construction employees will work on the affected block between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily. Work is anticipated to be completed by June 16.

The department is asking the public to avoid this area during work hours, as it will be blocked, and no parking will be allowed.

“The department is working expeditiously to complete repairs and minimize disruption to local businesses and patrons,” DPW Commissioner Derek Gabriel said. “DPW appreciates the community’s patience as they work to improve the territory’s infrastructure.”

Follow DPW on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. You can also log on to dpw.vi.gov and www.vitranvi.com to stay abreast of all things V.I. Public Works

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FEMA Gives DPW $1.9 Million to Curb Flooding at Fish Fry Drive on St. John

CRUZ BAY — The Federal Emergency Management Agency, through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, awarded the Department of Public Works up to $1,906,374 to construct a retaining wall and install a drainage system at Fish Fry Drive on St. John.

The popular roadway lies to the west of the Theodore Eric Moorehead Marine Facility in Cruz Bay and is subject to recurring coastal and riverine flooding. After heavy rains, the sea rises, flooding the road, which leads to the breakdown of the shoreline and deterioration of the asphalt.

The project’s scope calls for the installation of a permanent retaining wall system along the shoreline to prevent erosion and a drainage system that will direct water from the road to the sea. These elements will allow the water to drain off and away from the road to avoid further erosion.

Derek Gabriel, Commissioner for the Department of Public Works said, “These funds will allow for a high-impact community project for the residents of St. John. This area suffers from significant flooding and major erosion during rain events and we are excited we will finally be able to permanently fix the problem. Moreover, we will be preserving both the shoreline and roadway for our residents and visitors. This is a perfect example of the recovery at work for our people as we truly change the course of our Territory.”

A firm will be solicited to execute Phase1 deliverables. If approved, the project should be complete by July 2023.

“This funding will ensure that residents in the area can maintain access to their homes during and after a rainstorm,” said Adrienne L. Williams-Octalien, Director of the Office of Disaster Recovery. “The project application is in line with the goals of the Territorial Hazard Mitigation Plan and FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Through these collaborations, St. John residents can be certain that projects are developed to provide long term, resilient solutions for the islands flood-prone areas.” 

The approval process for this project is dual-phased. The Department has received approval for the first phase to complete engineering, design, land surveys, permitting and conduct a technical feasibility assessment. If the project continues to meet FEMA’s hazard mitigation program guidelines, funds will then be appropriated to execute the second phase, construction.