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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsPort Authority OKs Shipwreck Removal Plan

Port Authority OKs Shipwreck Removal Plan

The Gallows Bay Marine Facility as seen from the bypass. (Source photo by Linda Morland)

The government set aside $17 million in November to dredge Charlotte Amalie Harbor, and last week, the project received approval from the Coastal Zone Management Committee to remove 216,173 cubic yards of sand. However, Port Authority Executive Director Carlton Dowe told the authority’s board of governors Wednesday a lot still had to be done.

The authority must demonstrate to the Army Corps of Engineers that all impacted cultural resources are assessed and handled correctly.

Dowe told the board that a mid 19th-century shipwreck in the area is affected by the dredging.

Dowe requested approval of a contract with Bioimpact, Inc. not to exceed $149,509 for services related to the dredging for “cultural resources abatement.”

Celestino White was the only board member to vote against the request, which passed 5 to 1.

Amy Claire Dempsey is the president of Bioimpact. White said he had heard her talk about student involvement in her projects but had never seen any results. He asked if he could observe this project. Dowe said it would be arranged.

Along with the relocation of the shipwreck, the contract calls for archaeological monitoring of the wreck relocation.

The dredging would enable a larger class of cruise ships to dock at St. Thomas. It could begin in the summer of 2025 and should take 16 months, according to testimony at the CZM hearing.

The board also approved $348,500 for Moffatt & Nichol for above and below waterfront infrastructure structural inspections.

The sites to be inspected for any potential structural deficiencies include:

  • Austin “Babe” Monsanto Marine Terminal
  • Crown Bay Cargo Port
  • Charles F. Blair Jr. Seaplane Terminal
  • Edward W. Blyden IV Marine Terminal
  • Urman V. Fredericks Marine Terminal
  • Victor W. Sewer Marine Facility
  • Loredon L. Boynes Sr. Dock
  • Theovald E. Morehead Dock
  • Gallows Bay Marine Facility
  • Gordon A. Finch Molasses Pier
  • Wilfred “Bomba” Allick Port and Transshipment Center

In executive session, the board voted to authorize the executive director to cancel the RFP procurement process for demolishing and developing a hotel at the former Island Beachcomber property and to consider other options for developing the property.

The Port Authority decided to return to the drawing board to see what to do with the property on Lindbergh Bay shown here in a vintage postcard in its heyday, the Island Beachcomber Resort. (Photo courtesy Michael Resch)

The hotel has been closed since 2018. For years, the Port Authority has tried to redevelop the site on Lindbergh Bay, about a mile from the Cyril E. King Airport terminal.

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