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Work to Begin on Centerline Road in Coral Bay First Week In January

Work will begin the first week in January on the section of Centerline Road near Coral Bay that is crumbling downhill, Government House said in a press release issued Wednesday. The job is expected to take nine months.

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” St. John resident Pam Gaffin said.

Gaffin lives downhill of the crumbling road and has a first-hand view of the damage. She said pieces of the road continue to fall downhill.

The road began decaying after Hurricane Otto swept through in 2010 and got worse when heavy rains fell last May.

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Gaffin said she worries that if they don’t start work soon, there won’t be enough left of the road to keep one lane open during the repair. In June, Public Works Department crews put up orange barriers and installed an asphalt berm to divert water around the crumbling road. The road is now only one lane wide at this point.

The section with the orange cones is the worst, but two other sections with less damage will also be fixed as part of the project.

The work includes rebuilding the edge of the road and reconstructing major sections of the roadway washed out in the tropical storm all along Centerline Road, Government House said.

The more than $1 million repair project has been fraught with delays. Work was supposed to begin in September, but bureaucratic issues caused delays, Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls said several times when asked about when the project would begin.

Government House said in its press release that Island Roads Corp. was granted a Notice to Proceed on the project earlier this week. It followed Gov. John deJongh Jr.’s signing of a contract between Island Roads and the government at the end of last month.

“I am relieved that we can commence this project to ease the challenges faced by motorists on a regular basis along this well-traveled roadway,” deJongh said.

Smalls said that the efforts to bring significant improvements to Centerline Road date back almost two year to January 2012 when the Federal Highway Administration granted its initial approval for the reconstruction of the damaged sections of the roadway.

Several administrative procedures were required to satisfy the use of federal dollars provided. In June, the Property and Procurement Department advertised for bids. Bids were received a month later, evaluated and Island Roads was selected as the contractor in August. By November, the FHA had concurred with the contractor selection process and granted its final go ahead for the project.

“I appreciate the patience of the St. John community, and understand their frustration for the time it has taken us to reach this point,” Smalls said. “But this reconstruction period will allow the contractor to mobilize his crews and carry out the work as effectively and efficiently as possible and return Centerline Road to a level of functionality that is safe for pedestrians and motorists alike.”

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Work will begin the first week in January on the section of Centerline Road near Coral Bay that is crumbling downhill, Government House said in a press release issued Wednesday. The job is expected to take nine months.

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” St. John resident Pam Gaffin said.

Gaffin lives downhill of the crumbling road and has a first-hand view of the damage. She said pieces of the road continue to fall downhill.

The road began decaying after Hurricane Otto swept through in 2010 and got worse when heavy rains fell last May.

Gaffin said she worries that if they don’t start work soon, there won’t be enough left of the road to keep one lane open during the repair. In June, Public Works Department crews put up orange barriers and installed an asphalt berm to divert water around the crumbling road. The road is now only one lane wide at this point.

The section with the orange cones is the worst, but two other sections with less damage will also be fixed as part of the project.

The work includes rebuilding the edge of the road and reconstructing major sections of the roadway washed out in the tropical storm all along Centerline Road, Government House said.

The more than $1 million repair project has been fraught with delays. Work was supposed to begin in September, but bureaucratic issues caused delays, Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls said several times when asked about when the project would begin.

Government House said in its press release that Island Roads Corp. was granted a Notice to Proceed on the project earlier this week. It followed Gov. John deJongh Jr.’s signing of a contract between Island Roads and the government at the end of last month.

“I am relieved that we can commence this project to ease the challenges faced by motorists on a regular basis along this well-traveled roadway,” deJongh said.

Smalls said that the efforts to bring significant improvements to Centerline Road date back almost two year to January 2012 when the Federal Highway Administration granted its initial approval for the reconstruction of the damaged sections of the roadway.

Several administrative procedures were required to satisfy the use of federal dollars provided. In June, the Property and Procurement Department advertised for bids. Bids were received a month later, evaluated and Island Roads was selected as the contractor in August. By November, the FHA had concurred with the contractor selection process and granted its final go ahead for the project.

“I appreciate the patience of the St. John community, and understand their frustration for the time it has taken us to reach this point,” Smalls said. “But this reconstruction period will allow the contractor to mobilize his crews and carry out the work as effectively and efficiently as possible and return Centerline Road to a level of functionality that is safe for pedestrians and motorists alike.”