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BREAKWATER COMING DOWN

Sept. 17, 2001 – Work crews on Monday began taking down a breakwater on the Peterborg side of Magens Bay that the AT&T long-distance phone company built last year to protect cables coming out of the water.
Through much of the day, a barge was anchored at the site about halfway between Magens Bay Beach and the outer tip of Estate Peterborg. Late Monday, a tugboat pulled the barge out of the bay.
Dexter Freeman, the manager at AT&T’s Peterborg station, said the breakwater had been built to protect lines that come ashore in the area. AT&T officials have said they believed they had the right to build the structure under existing permits they had for the area, but the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Planning and Natural Resources later ruled against the company and ordered the structure to be removed, Freeman explained.
DPNR also fined AT&T $100,000 for building the 100-foot long structure.
Not having the breakwater there will not endanger long-distance phone service to St. Thomas, he said. But it will mean that AT&T will have to replace equipment in the area more often because the seas will damage it more quickly than if the breakwater were still there to protect it, Freeman added.
Removing the structure should take about a week, he said, adding that the natural rocks that were in the area will remain. The goal is to put the area back to its condition before the breakwater was build, Freeman said.
Officials with the Army Corps of Engineers and DPNR have approved the plans for removal and will conduct inspections of the work, according to Annette Morales, spokeswoman for DPNR.
She added that the permits state the work could take up to about a month, and that there could be a delay because the subcontractor, Wayne’s Trucking Services, was waiting for a crane operator to arrive from the mainland, where he has been delayed since the terrorist attacks last week caused limited air service.
One resident of the area said he was glad to see the breakwater was being removed, but that he still had some concerns.
"My concern is that they dispose of the stuff properly and don’t cause any more damage," said Brian Postle, who owns a home in Peterborg just above the breakwater. He said the structure had altered the natural flow of sand in the area, and that because of it, the beach below his house has largely washed away.
He said he hopes the beach will come back, and that the taking down of the breakwater does not cause any more damage to the area.
Freeman apologized for any loud noise the work would create and said crews would only be working on it during normal business hours. He said the cost of removing the breakwater would be at least $250,000, not including some surveys and planning for the work.

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Sept. 17, 2001 – Work crews on Monday began taking down a breakwater on the Peterborg side of Magens Bay that the AT&T long-distance phone company built last year to protect cables coming out of the water.
Through much of the day, a barge was anchored at the site about halfway between Magens Bay Beach and the outer tip of Estate Peterborg. Late Monday, a tugboat pulled the barge out of the bay.
Dexter Freeman, the manager at AT&T’s Peterborg station, said the breakwater had been built to protect lines that come ashore in the area. AT&T officials have said they believed they had the right to build the structure under existing permits they had for the area, but the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Planning and Natural Resources later ruled against the company and ordered the structure to be removed, Freeman explained.
DPNR also fined AT&T $100,000 for building the 100-foot long structure.
Not having the breakwater there will not endanger long-distance phone service to St. Thomas, he said. But it will mean that AT&T will have to replace equipment in the area more often because the seas will damage it more quickly than if the breakwater were still there to protect it, Freeman added.
Removing the structure should take about a week, he said, adding that the natural rocks that were in the area will remain. The goal is to put the area back to its condition before the breakwater was build, Freeman said.
Officials with the Army Corps of Engineers and DPNR have approved the plans for removal and will conduct inspections of the work, according to Annette Morales, spokeswoman for DPNR.
She added that the permits state the work could take up to about a month, and that there could be a delay because the subcontractor, Wayne’s Trucking Services, was waiting for a crane operator to arrive from the mainland, where he has been delayed since the terrorist attacks last week caused limited air service.
One resident of the area said he was glad to see the breakwater was being removed, but that he still had some concerns.
"My concern is that they dispose of the stuff properly and don’t cause any more damage," said Brian Postle, who owns a home in Peterborg just above the breakwater. He said the structure had altered the natural flow of sand in the area, and that because of it, the beach below his house has largely washed away.
He said he hopes the beach will come back, and that the taking down of the breakwater does not cause any more damage to the area.
Freeman apologized for any loud noise the work would create and said crews would only be working on it during normal business hours. He said the cost of removing the breakwater would be at least $250,000, not including some surveys and planning for the work.