Pedestrians who traverse the busy, and often unsafe, stretch of Centerline Road between the Islandia building and the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Cruz Bay can rest easy knowing their walk will soon be much safer thanks to the planned construction of a sidewalk in that area.
The project was jump started approximately four months ago, when St. John Administrator Leona Smith approached Department of Public Works St. John Deputy Director Ira Wade about the feasibility of making that stretch of roadway safer for pedestrians, Wade explained.
“At the time, I told her we didn’t have any funding, but that I’d speak to the commissioner and some of the other department heads to see what the feasibility was that we could get it done,” Wade said. “About two weeks ago, I sat down with the administrator and we decided to see if it was possible to use some stimulus money.”
“It appears that we’re going to be able to put the sidewalk into the department’s safety program,” said the DPW Deputy Director.
Wade estimated the project will cost less than $100,000 and should take approximately six weeks to complete. Before construction can begin, however, the government will need an easement from Islandia building owner Inga Hiilivirta and the Seventh Day Adventist Church, giving DPW permission to install the sidewalk, explained Wade.
“I don’t anticipate any problems with that because my understanding in speaking with the administrator is that she had been in communication with church leaders who were advocates of putting the sidewalk along the road there,” Wade said.
Some rocks will need to be removed from the road’s shoulder, which will be stabilized during the project. Construction may also involve some hammering.
The approximately 800-foot sidewalk, which will be installed on the eastbound side of Centerline Road, will help get pedestrians off one of the road’s busiest stretches, Wade explained.
“Many, many people walk from Pastory down into Cruz Bay, and that particular area of Centerline Road is extremely important because traffic is so heavy,” he said. “We want to get people off the street.”
The only potential problem with the installation of the sidewalk will be the loss of approximately six parking spaces for tenants of apartments on the westbound side of Centerline. Those residents will be advised to park elsewhere, according to Wade.