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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, May 30, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesHelp on the Way for Cruz Bay Parking Nightmare

Help on the Way for Cruz Bay Parking Nightmare

Work on the Cruz Bay roundabout is expected to finish by the end of June. Construction on an interim 150-space parking lot at Enighed Pond Marine Facility is slated for the third quarter, Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls said Wednesday.
"We’re in the process of getting the documentation ready for the CZM. We hope to begin by summer," he said, referring to the application process for a Coastal Zone Management permit.
Smalls sent out a press release Tuesday that outlined progress on the department’s St. John projects, valued at a total of $18.7 million. He said that he’s done the same for all islands to update residents.
Describing the lot’s location, Smalls said it will be in front of drivers before they exit left off the barge. However, access will be from the roads that sit adjacent to the marine facility.
Developing the parking lot requires moving the berm that sits atop land dredged from the pond when the V.I. Port Authority constructed the marine terminal, he said.
The CZM application also includes a fish market to be built along Pond Mouth Road adjacent to the marine terminal, Smalls said.
A total of $2.2 million is allocated for both the interim parking and the fish market, but Smalls said that the projects won’t use all the money. The remainder will go towards finding a location and developing plans for a parking garage.
Several attempts have been made to build a parking garage on local government-owned land now used for the parking lot across from the Creek, but all have fallen through. Smalls said he had no specific location in mind, but would look for a place that was closer to Cruz Bay’s downtown than Enighed Pond.
"The bottom of the garage may have an opportunity for retail," he said.
In other Public Works news, the $6.9 million Cruz Bay roundabout is about 90 percent done. Smalls said he expects work to conclude before the end of June. He said that he plans an education campaign to help people understand how to navigate the roundabout.
While yield signs are in place on the streets that enter the roundabout, drivers continue to ignore them, as well as stop in the roundabout to let passengers out of their vehicles. These actions are dangerous to both motorists and pedestrians.
"We have a similar situation at Mandela Circle," he said, referring to the St. Thomas project also under construction.
According to Smalls, Public Works will advertise in February for the design and construction of two new ferry boats. One each will be leased by the government to Transportation Services and Varlack Ventures, the two St. John companies that hold franchises to operate between St. John and St. Thomas. They will fly the Vitran flag. Public Works has a $3 million grant to pay for the ferry boats.
Additionally, a state-of-the-art catamaran will be ordered to replace the aging Star of Life ambulance boat. A vendor should be selected by the end of March.
"I don’t want to say too much because it’s in the middle of negotiations," he said.
The government has a $200,000 grant from the Interior Department to work on plans for a new combined elementary and high school at Catherineberg. Public Works will advertise for bids in February. Building the school is contingent on a successful land swap involving V.I. National Park land at Catherineberg and land on St. Croix to establish a national park honoring Alexander Hamilton.
Meanwhile, work continues on the $3.5 million Route 104 improvement project, Smalls said. Additionally, plans are in the works to finish paving the last section of Bordeaux Road. It will cost $1.2 million, with work starting by the end of March, Smalls said.
In the third quarter, Smalls said improvements like drainage, surfacing and safety improvements will be done on Bethany Road and John Head Road, which runs through Catherineberg. Improvements to those two roads are expected to cost about $1 million.
Public Works plans to advertise shortly for bids on improvements to Cruz Bay Park, also called Frank Powell Park. This project should cost about $300,000.
About $250,000 is allocated to improve the Cruz Bay Recreation Center.
And finally, four bus shelters on St. John will be improved to the tune of $150,000.

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