The Virgin Islands Port Authority Board of Directors approved, in September, $100,000 in funding for a study to be conducted by the international firm Par-sons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas Inc. to determine the stability of three-and-a-half acres of dredge spoils being stored at the Enighed Pond Marine Facility.
The firm, which has done several projects in the Virgin Islands and will soon open a local office at Crown Bay on St. Thomas, was chosen in June through a bidding process to provide solutions for the dredged material.
Longer Curing Period
The spoils were generated when Enighed Pond was dredged in preparation for barge traffic, and have remained at the facility while VIPA waited for it to dry out so it could be removed.
VIPA officials planned on removing the material before the April opening of the facility, but due to Environmental Protection Agency concerns and a longer curing period than expected, the spoils remain at Enighed, occupying three-and-a-half acres of valuable land.
“The Port Authority has commissioned an engineering study to review the stability of that area to determine whether structures can be built on it,” said VIPA spokesperson Marc Stri-diron, who did not have information on the timeline of the project. “Parsons Brinckerhoff is a well-established international engineering firm, which has done a number of projects in the territory. Once the study at Enighed is completed and we have a report back from them, we will know how best to proceed with what to use that property for in the future.”
The study, which has not yet been scheduled on VIPA’s Engineering Division’s Project Status Report, will involve drilling in the area, according to Stridiron.
“There will be a considerable amount of deep core drilling, just to ensure that if they were to put a structure in that area, it would still be standing two years from now,” said the VIPA spokesperson. “The study will determine whether there will be erosion, and the stability of the dredge spoils. It’s a fairly intensive issue.”