The opening of Enighed Pond, previously scheduled for this month, has been pushed back yet again, to January or February, said Carol Henneman, V.I. Port Authority (VIPA) spokesperson. The opening was most recently delayed by a large rock in the channel that VIPA wanted to remove before allowing barges to begin operating in the area.
They were trying to remove it because its easy to run aground if youre not a seasoned sailor and you dont know the area, said Henneman. Because of all of the hurricanes in the U.S., a lot of equipment is not available, so were going to use a marker in the harbor so that mariners will be able to see where the rock is.
The rock will eventually be removed, Henneman added.
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull, who will be present for the opening of Enighed Pond, has a busy schedule this month, which is another issue delaying the opening.
We have to have a formal opening, and the governors schedule is so heavy right now that we cant get a date in December, said Henneman.
The pond is 98 percent finished, said Henneman, who cited the marking of the large rock in the channel and the planting of mangroves to prevent runoff as two projects that are still unfinished.
VIPA also hopes to remove some sediment that has been curing at the pond, and it is working on a plan for the operation of the area.
Opening Causes Traffic Concern
A large portion of the pond, which could be a staging area for cars waiting to get on the barges, is being used to store material that was dredged from the channel while it cures.
St. John residents have expressed concern regarding traffic caused by that waiting cars.
It seems like its going to be chaos you are bringing confusion to a residential area with elderly people, said Ivy Moses at a November town meeting. What are they going to do when they need to get home?
Dale Gregory, director of engineering at VIPA, acknowledged that concerns raised by residents at the meeting were valid.
Im going to recommend that we look at our operations plan, he said. I hear you loud and clear.