Roundabout Utility Work Still Incomplete as Contract Closing Date Approaches

WAPA and Innovative must still bury utilities at the Cruz Bay roundabout, above, before Island Roads can deem the project complete.

While the bulk of construction at the Cruz Bay roundabout is complete, the utility pole in the middle of the circle serves as a reminder that the utilities in the area are not yet buried.

Contractor Island Roads must wait for Innovate and the V.I. Water and Power Authority to pull their wires underground before it can remove the utility pole and deem the project fully completed.

“There’s not much more the contractor can do,” said Department of Public Works Materials Program Manager Thomas Jones. “The utility companies need to finish up what they need to do. The roundabout has been substantially completed and we’ve pretty much turned it over to the public.”

The delay is being caused by coordination between subcontractors hired by the utility companies to bury the utilities, Jones continued.

“The problem comes with the subcontractors not wanting to start their job until the other subcontractors have completely finished their work,” he said. “They’re not willing to start what they need to do with the job half done. They want it completely done so that when they’re finished, they’re finished.”

The remaining work that needs to be done will not impede the flow of traffic in any way, and Jones is keeping his fingers crossed that the job will be completed by the contract’s end date, June 21.

“We lost a lot of time because of the utility companies,” he said.

Aside from the delay, the final phase of the roundabout construction has gone smoothly. The circle’s final paving, a job that was spread out over three days, went off without a hitch.

“It was a lot better than we expected,” said Jones. “Doing it all at one time would have been nice, so they could have shut down the road and knocked it out in one night. But doing it in three days enabled us to keep traffic moving, so it was the way to go.