The governing board of the Water and Power Authority approved funding Thursday for repaving of the Long Reef Road on St. Croix following the completion of a major waterline project, and against the backdrop of worsening road conditions. The road runs between Northside Road and Queen Mary, inland and uphill from Northside Road around where it passes Juanita Gardine Elementary School .
V.I. Paving got the contract after submitting the lowest of four quotes. V.I. Paving bid $223,300.
At Thursday’s meeting, the board was told that waterline installation work included asphalt resurfacing of the trenched areas in its scope of work, but an excavation permit issued by the central government mandated WAPA’s resurfacing of the entire stretch of roadway upon completion. While the project was underway, the road condition worsened, and has become a source of major complaints by residents who cite vehicular damage from driving on the roadway.
According to a release from WAPA, the utility is being criticized for the road condition as the utility was the last entity working along the roadway. But the utility asserts this is despite the road being in a general state of disrepair before to the waterline installation project. WAPA reportedly decided to move forward in the repaving of about a half a mile of roadway.
The utility reports the Public Works department will reimburse the utility for the road repair and repaving after the project is done.
Under terms of the arrangement with V.I. Paving, low areas of the road will be spot-fixed, and the entire road surface will be overlaid with asphalt. The work is expected to be completed by the end of August.
Board members in attendance included Chairman Anthony D. Thomas, Vice Chairman Noel Loftus, Secretary Juanita Young, Hubert Turnbull, and Elizabeth Armstrong, Cheryl Boynes Jackson, Director Kyle Fleming, and Jed JohnHope. Director Joel Lee was absent.