Field work for bridge naming on St. Thomas has been completed, according to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. This moves the territory closer to completing a decade-old program to standardize street names.
When the program was proposed in 2009, V.I. officials said standardized addresses would make it easier for everyone to locate businesses and residences, greatly aid 911 responders and speed up help in an emergency.
Federal funding revitalized the program last year and this leg began in October.
“This is a crucial project for the territory that will provide a systematic, logical and standardized addressing system, a system that can save lives wherein addresses can be located and utilized by emergency responders, postal services, utilities, GPS-based systems for navigation and other crucial services,” Lt. Gov. Tregenza Roach said in a press release Thursday.
The Bridge Phase on St. Thomas has several steps. The first step was to create an address reference system grid. Then field crews assigned each building or vacant property a number based on its distance from the beginning point on the grid. The geographic coordinates for that point and a photograph of the structure or property were collected. The address number and street name for the address were also recorded.
Roach said the data was collected for the nationally standardized street addressing grid system and will help the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency, police, Fire Service, Water and Power Authority, U.S. Postal Service and VIYA, the territory’s one landline telephone company.
Once the numbers were assigned and grid data collected, field crews placed information packets on each building, location and property.
The lieutenant governor is encouraging residents to learn and secure their street address. For more information or any questions regarding your new address or the Street Addressing Initiative, call the designated SAI contact at 340-693-6191 or email [email protected]
“It is important to note that the street address does not eliminate your parcel number.
Parcel numbers are a legal description of property for use in deeds, property
transactions and tax assessment. However, parcel numbers do not assist in navigation
or reference a street addressing network. This means that parcel numbers cannot be
used for a standardized addressing system. A benefit of street addresses and numbering
is that they remain consistent even as land uses and properties change over time,” Geographical Information System Administrator Chris George said in the press release.
“The Bridge Phase will continue on St. Croix in the upcoming weeks, addressing
designated urban areas in Christiansted and Frederiksted. St. John will immediately
follow the conclusion of St. Croix. To ensure efficient data collection, the Bridge Phase
only covers specific areas on each island,” Roach said.
“The next phase of the project will include the entire territory, covering areas on all
four islands: St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John and Water Island. Once each island has
been completely addressed, the United States Postal Service will start using the new
addresses. Until then, current physical postal addresses will continue to be utilized by
mail carriers,” Roach added.