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WAPA Begins Constructing High Voltage Cable on St. Croix Feeder #8 Route

(Tuesday, October 23, 2012)


Contact:  Cassandra Dunn, Director of Corporate Communications

340-773-2250 extension 4085


Tuesday, October 23, 2012





The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority began cable splicing a new 69kV transmission line along the route of St. Croix underground Feeder #8 today. Fortress Electric crews will work from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays until project completion by the end of the year. Construction begins on Route #75 in the vicinity of the Juanita Gardine School and continues westward to the vicinity of Spanish Town (Estate Profit). While no service interruptions are anticipated, motorists may experience brief traffic delays in the construction areas


The new transmission line will connect the recently upgraded 69/25kV Richmond substation through a 100% underground duct bank along the Feeder #8 route to the planned Midland substation presently in the design phase. Currently, Feeder #8 is routed underground from Richmond substation along Route #75 to the stop light at Golden Rock Shopping Center, on to Route #703 (Golden Rock Shopping Center south to Contentment Road), Route #70 (Queen Mary Highway), Route #682 (Cool Out Bar to Schuster Water), Route #68 (adjacent to HOVENSA), to Route #66 along the Melvin Evans Highway west to Hannah’s Rest intersection. Feeder #8 is then served by overhead lines to Frederiksted town. Conduits have been installed to Frederiksted town in anticipation of completing undergrounding of the town area as soon as funds permit. Undergrounding has helped to better mitigate against storms and outages and has reduced line loss along the feeder.


The new line will ultimately continue along Route #663 to feed directly from the intersection of the Evans Highway and the Diageo complex into the new substation facility anticipated for completion in 2014. Once operational, the western portion of St. Croix from Estate Profit to Hams Bluff will be served from that facility. Reliability will increase by having shortened feeders and line crews will have the ability to isolate areas for maintenance work, etc. as opposed to interrupting service to an entire feeder.


During the construction phase, Fortress Electric crews will dewater and clean manholes, rack power cables in the manholes, splice, ground, and test high voltage power cables in 50 existing manholes along the transmission feeder route. The installation of the line is funded by the Authority’s 2010 issued revenue bonds at a cost of $962,648 and is part of the Authority’s 25-year plan to upgrade the existing distribution system to a more efficient and reliable system. 


Underground lines presently service homes and businesses on several routes from the power plants on St. Croix and St. Thomas to the airports and hospitals. Undersea cables provide electric service from St. Thomas to St. John. Work is underway to underground lines in St. Thomas’ Market Square and phase two of St. Croix’s Christiansted underground project will begin in November.


Motorists are asked to proceed cautiously in all construction areas and to follow traffic directions for the safety of crews, pedestrians and other drivers.  The Authority looks forward to serving the public more reliably through these infrastructure enhancement projects.