V.I. Port Authority is Currently Spending Over $75 Million on Projects

The Cyril E. King Airport Parking Garage and Transportation Center on St. Thomas is about a third of the way to completion. (Source photo by Adisha Penn)

The Virgin Islands Port Authority currently has several active projects occurring throughout the territory and some that are at a standstill due to financial and design issues.

“You don’t see the little, little ones, but we have well over $75 million of projects currently being worked on,” said the Port Authority Executive Director Carlton Dowe at a meeting of the agency’s board on Wednesday. “Of those projects, the majority of that $75 million is in St. Croix.”

The Port Authority has nine active projects on St. Croix and five projects on hold. In the St. Thomas-St. John district, there are 10 active projects, and of those 10, three are close to being completed.

On St. Thomas, three aviation projects are underway, officials reported. They are the Gate 5 apron reconstruction, the Cyril E. King Airport Parking Garage and Transportation Center, and charging stations projects at the airport. The apron reconstruction project got off to a slightly late start, but will be completed in January of 2022, officials said.

The airport parking garage is 30 percent completed, according to Dale Gregory. Gregory is the acting director of Engineering for the Port Authority. The beams and columns are being constructed for the second floor of the parking garage and the force main pipes have been laid. In addition, gate four at the Cyril E. King Airport has recently been installed with charging stations.

“On the marine side, we still have a hold on the Customs building at Red Hook. The Sandfill Administrative Building has been completed, and the St. John ferry dock modification is pending the blessing of the Historic Preservation Committee,” said Gregory.

Funding is the main cause of the hold on the Red Hook Customs building project with the Port Authority seeking additional funding to pursue a two-story build. For the St. John ferry dock, according to Gregory, the Historic Preservation Committee recommended that changes be made to the Port Authority’s design. He said he is hopeful that a new design will be ready by the end of November to be resubmitted to the committee for approval.

The Demolition of Parcel 16 Crown Bay project is on hold while the Port Authority has a “structural engineer do a review of that structure,” said Gregory. “We feel that the outlaying members are in bad condition.”

Once the review is completed a report will be generated and sent to the Historic Preservation Committee before continuing with the demolition process.

Other projects for St. Thomas include the Cyril E. King Airport Commercial Apron Pavement Phase 1, Gate 1 hallway renovations and the Port Authority Purchasing Building. Future projects include the apron lighting, Sandfill SBA building, and the Bournefield demolition.

On St. Croix, a total of $55,280,406 is anticipated to be used in the capital and operational expenditures in the first quarter of the fiscal year.

Senior Engineer William Boehnke discussed the projects occurring on St. Croix. For the aviation projects at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport, the first phase of its expansion project is almost complete, with a concrete ramp and ticket counter overhead monitors being among some of the newest installations. The Rohlsen airport’s runway 10-28 shoulder and electrical vault construction project is expected to be completed in May 2022 and the Rohlsen Airport’s terminal HVAC refurbishing project is on hold.

Many marine projects are underway at the Gordon A. Finch Molasses Dock Terminal. They include the Cargo Building, roll-on/roll-off dock, Molasses Pier dredging, Container Port cargo warehouse, and Frederiksted Service Pier projects. The Frederiksted Pier bollard repair, Frederiksted Pier blow-out and panels and structural repairs projects are currently on hold. Future projects for St. Croix are the Gallows Bay-Schooner Channel maintenance dredging.

Columns and steel beams help to sturdy the foundation for the second floor of the parking garage at the Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas. (Source photo by Adisha Penn)