VIPA Moving Ahead with Three Projects at St. John Ferry Dock, Creek and Enighed

St. John residents were likely surprised by reports V.I. Port Authority Executive Director Darlan Brin informed the V.I. Senate Committee on Finance that the Cruz Bay pier extension is 50 percent completed since no visible work has been done at the ferry dock.

Brin presented a status update on several different capital projects on all three islands at the July 17 hearing, including the Cruz Bay pier extension, which will cost a total of $104,655, according to a V.I. Legislature press release.

Evaluation and Design
The 50 percent of the project that has been completed is the evaluation and design, Brin told St. John Tradewinds.

“We are looking into the possibility of extending the dock seaward,” he said. “We want to make the dock much longer. Right now, the dock is getting more use than it was designed to handle.”

The ferry dock extension is still in the very early planning stages, according to Brin.

“We have to do some subsurface testing, so we can find out whether we are dealing with rock, sand or whatever,” he said. “We have to design a pile system. We’re still in the planning stage.”

The dock will be extended approximately 150 feet, according to the VIPA executive director.

Brin also presented at the hearing the status of improvements to the Enighed Pond Marine Facility, which will be done at a cost of $1.2 million.

Basic Improvements
“We will be putting in an administration building and guard houses,” said Brin. “We’ll also be doing some security improvements. These are basic things.”

A portion of the $1.2 million in improvements at Enighed will go toward resolution of the spoils that are currently taking up space at the Pond, according to Brin.

“We also have $100,000 to take a look at the spoils area,” he said. “We haven’t issued the contract yet.”

Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas Inc. was selected in June through a bid process to provide solutions for dredged material currently stored at the pond.

VIPA planned on removing the material before the opening of the facility, but due to Environmental Protection Agency concerns and a longer curing period than expected, the spoils remain at Enighed, occupying about three and a half acres of valuable space.

Material Will Remain at Pond
The material was generated when the pond was dredged in preparation for accepting barges, and has since remained at the facility while VIPA waited for it to dry out so it could be removed.

VIPA has now abandoned the idea of removing the material from the port, and instead is looking at how to make the dredged material solid.

“We expect the firm to offer engineering or technical options to make that area solid,” said Brin.

Once the material is managed, the area will likely be used for cargo storage, according to the VIPA executive director.

“We will use it for activities related to the port,” said Brin. “We need the land to be supported. We don’t have that much space there at the present time, so we are looking to make it a more functional area.”

Creek To Be Improved
Improvements are also planned for the Cruz Bay creek bulkhead, which is no longer in use following the opening of the Enighed Pond Marine Facility.

VIPA accepted proposals through July 26, and will now take time to review those proposals, according to Brin.

“We have to evaluate the proposals, which will probably be done in engineering,” he said.

St. John residents will have some input regarding the design of the facility, according to Brin.

“Once we hire a firm, we will go out and have public meetings to allow for input from the public,” he said. “We’re not going to let the public design it, but they will have input.”

VIPA accepted bids for architectural and/or landscaping firms to provide “planning and design services based on an assessment of the existing conditions and physical facilities,” according to the Authority’s public notice.

Brin did not specify what the area will be used for once it is renovated.

Creek Called “Eyesore”
“We want to engage the services of a professional architectural engineering or landscaping firm,” he said. “We want to renovate the area. As far as I’m concerned, it’s an eyesore.”

“I don’t want to say exactly what we will do there, because we will ask for input from the public,” Brin added.