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Tuesday, May 24, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesVIPA MAKES ROOM FOR HUGE CRUISE SHIPS ON STX

VIPA MAKES ROOM FOR HUGE CRUISE SHIPS ON STX

A contractor has just arrived at the Frederiksted pier to begin work on a new mooring system that will accommodate the biggest cruise ships afloat, though in fact work on the project has been going on for almost a year.
Last weekend, Meisener Construction of Tampa Bay, Fla., began preparations to build and install new breasting and mooring dolphins at the V.I. Port Authority pier. The $3.6-million project means huge Eagle class cruise ships will be able to dock in Frederiksted.
"It’s pretty significant for the economy," said David Mapp, VIPA assistant executive director. "It will allow the megaships to dock."
The design-and-build contract was let early last year, said Jeff Lawlor, a senior engineer at the Port Authority, and the project is scheduled to be finished around May 21. Some sections were prefabricated in Texas and Florida and then barged to St. Croix, where they will be put in place after piles for the breasting and mooring system have been driven.
Two pairs of breasting dolphins will be installed between the end of the pier and an existing mooring dolphin, Lawlor said. An additional mooring dolphin will be driven into the ocean floor 230 feet seaward of the one already in place.
Prefabricated catwalks will be placed from the pier to the breasting dolphins so line handlers have easy access to secure ships as they dock.
The new berthing system will allow St. Croix to accommodate the behemoth Eagle class cruise ships that are now plying the seas.
Lawlor said that when the Frederiksted pier was rebuilt after Hurricane Hugo in the early 1990s, it was designed to handle 70,000-ton cruise ships, the largest at sea at that time. Next came the 105,000-ton ships such as Carnival Cruise Lines’ Destiny, which the pier can just accommodate.
The future is now in the form of the 140,000-ton Eagle class ships, which don’t quite fit, given the size of the Frederiksted pier.
"The cruise industry is going through monumental changes," Lawlor said. "The Eagle class ships are twice the size of what was even conceived of 10 years ago. The Destiny is 105,000 tons. It was the largest cruise ship in the world. It no longer is. As a result, we had to make accommodations for the changing environment."
Once the project is complete, two 140,000-ton cruise ships will be able to tie up in Frederiksted at the same time.
Meanwhile, Lawlor said, negotiations are under way to repair the section of the pier knocked out during Hurricane Lenny in November.
"We’ve done extensive evaluations and are comfortable in saying the only damage is to that particular section," he said.

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A contractor has just arrived at the Frederiksted pier to begin work on a new mooring system that will accommodate the biggest cruise ships afloat, though in fact work on the project has been going on for almost a year.
Last weekend, Meisener Construction of Tampa Bay, Fla., began preparations to build and install new breasting and mooring dolphins at the V.I. Port Authority pier. The $3.6-million project means huge Eagle class cruise ships will be able to dock in Frederiksted.
"It’s pretty significant for the economy," said David Mapp, VIPA assistant executive director. "It will allow the megaships to dock."
The design-and-build contract was let early last year, said Jeff Lawlor, a senior engineer at the Port Authority, and the project is scheduled to be finished around May 21. Some sections were prefabricated in Texas and Florida and then barged to St. Croix, where they will be put in place after piles for the breasting and mooring system have been driven.
Two pairs of breasting dolphins will be installed between the end of the pier and an existing mooring dolphin, Lawlor said. An additional mooring dolphin will be driven into the ocean floor 230 feet seaward of the one already in place.
Prefabricated catwalks will be placed from the pier to the breasting dolphins so line handlers have easy access to secure ships as they dock.
The new berthing system will allow St. Croix to accommodate the behemoth Eagle class cruise ships that are now plying the seas.
Lawlor said that when the Frederiksted pier was rebuilt after Hurricane Hugo in the early 1990s, it was designed to handle 70,000-ton cruise ships, the largest at sea at that time. Next came the 105,000-ton ships such as Carnival Cruise Lines’ Destiny, which the pier can just accommodate.
The future is now in the form of the 140,000-ton Eagle class ships, which don’t quite fit, given the size of the Frederiksted pier.
"The cruise industry is going through monumental changes," Lawlor said. "The Eagle class ships are twice the size of what was even conceived of 10 years ago. The Destiny is 105,000 tons. It was the largest cruise ship in the world. It no longer is. As a result, we had to make accommodations for the changing environment."
Once the project is complete, two 140,000-ton cruise ships will be able to tie up in Frederiksted at the same time.
Meanwhile, Lawlor said, negotiations are under way to repair the section of the pier knocked out during Hurricane Lenny in November.
"We’ve done extensive evaluations and are comfortable in saying the only damage is to that particular section," he said.