DPW Issues Stop Work Order on Liberty Communications’ Undergrounding Project

Commissioner Derek Gabriel leads the Virgin Islands Department of Public Works. (Screen capture)

The V.I. Department of Public Works has issued a stop work order, effective immediately, on the current undergrounding project being performed on Liberty Communications USVI’s behalf by Bermudez, Longo, Diaz-Masso, LLC.

In his letter addressed to Liberty Communications of Puerto Rico’s CEO, Naji Khoury, Commissioner Derek Gabriel noted that over the past two weekends, the department has been inundated by several reports of unsatisfactory and unsafe work in both the St. Croix and St. Thomas/St. John districts.

Most notably are the inadequate striping, performed by Lineas de Puerto Rico Inc., in Christiansted on St. Croix as well as unsafe driving conditions, mostly in the westbound lane of Route 33 between the Four Corners intersection and the Estate Hope/Pearl intersection.

“My priority will always be the safety of our public transportation infrastructure,” said Gabriel. “These most recent, egregious actions demonstrate to me that Liberty, its contractors and subcontractors have no consideration or corporate responsibility for the public transportation infrastructure,” Gabriel said in his letter.

“While we have made every effort to coordinate with the contractors on this project regarding the department’s expectations of traffic control and safety measures, there still seems to be a clear divide between the two parties. At this time, I believe the prudent thing to do is to stop all work on this project for the safety of our residents. Before we allow for the contractors to restart operations, we need assurances that this kind of irresponsible work will not happen again,” Gabriel said.

The stop work order will only allow for necessary emergency repairs to improve the road conditions referenced above.

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