After eight years of planning and preparation, the island’s weathered and worn North Shore Road will receive much-needed repairs beginning in September.
“The Virgin Islands National Park has been planning this project with Federal Highway Administration for the past eight years,” said V.I. National Park Superintendent Mark Hardgrove. “North Shore Road has not been paved for over 16 years and the road is in bad need of repairs.”
The North Shore Road Rehabilitation project is scheduled to begin mid-September and be finished within a year and a half, according Hardgrove.
“The project is expected to take between 12 and 18 months,” he said.
$2 Mil. from ARRA Funds
The project was originally funded at $4.9 million but because construction costs have nearly doubled over the past eight years, its current budget of $8.1 million passed earlier this year, the superintendent explained.
The $4.9 million of Federal Highway funds collected from gas taxes in the U.S. was enhanced by $1.2 million from National Park Service Fee income collected within the national park for the use of Trunk Bay and its 212 boat moorings, according to Hardgrove. He said the additional $2 million came from stimulus funds as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“We are really pleased to announce that the project was funded and enhanced,” Hardgrove said. “It has been a real partnership not only in the planning of this project, but in the funding as well.”
The scope of the project consists of the rehabilitation and resurfacing of 8.1 miles of North Shore Road as well as resurfacing and drainage improvements within the VINP Headquarters and Visitors Center parking area.
Among the projects slated for North Shore Road are: full and partial width pavement reconstruction; asphalt paving and anti-skid surface treatment; shoulder stabilization; new signage and striping; and drainage improvements.
“There will be some major renovations,” Hardgrove said. “The paving of the entire road will only take a few months, but preparing the road for paving will take some time.”
Sealed bids are now being accepted for the project, Hardgrove said. Bid documents became available for download on June 2 at: http://www.efl.fhwa.dot.gov/contracting/Documents.aspx.
The work should proceed 60 days after a contract is awarded, which is slated for July 7, explained Hardgrove.
The superintendent said at least one lane will remain open on North Shore Road during all times.
“We may hit some exciting times in season,” Hardgrove said. “But the contract allows for no more than a five minute wait.”