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Week #11 Update:Crews Repaving Christiansted Town Areas Where Underground Work Completed; King Street Work Moves Forward

(Monday, January 14, 2013)

The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority

NEWS RELEASE

Contact:  Cassandra Dunn, Director of Corporate Communications

340-773-2250 extension 4085 or 340-690-5758

www.viwapa.vi

 

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On Tuesday through Thursday, January 15 to 17,  Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority contractor   J. Benton Construction will begin repaving the streets where underground electric and water lines have been installed recently to improve reliability of service in Christiansted town.  On the three days of repaving, work will begin at 4 a.m. and the roads will reopen by no later than 3:30 p.m. each day.  Detours will be available and flaggers will assist in traffic directions.

 

On Tuesday, the paving operation will be on Strand Street between King Cross and Prince Streets. The government parking lot can be accessed from Watergut Road. 

 

On Wednesday, repaving operation will  be on King Cross Street from Watergut Road to King Street and then on Strand Street from King Cross Street to Queen Cross Street.

 

On Thursday, repaving will begin at the intersection of Strand and Queen Cross Streets and move down Queen Cross Street to the Boardwalk and also along Strand Lane.

 

During the repaving operation, work crews will be milling away flow fill material from the road, vacuuming, and compacting asphalt on the road.

 

Also on Wednesday, underground work will continue on King Street . Work crews will be trenching, laying conduits and covering up the open trench daily from Prince Street to King Cross Street until that section of King Street is completed.  Lower areas of King Street and Christiansted town can be accessed from the Christiansted Bypass..

 

The King Street portion of the project will be completed in segments with a minimum of vehicular traffic interruption.   Every possible effort will continue to minimize inconvenience to foot and vehicular traffic and to provide easy access to all offices and businesses during their operating hours. Customers patronizing Christiansted businesses are reminded that they can present a validated receipt from a business for free parking in the government parking lot until January 18.

 

The Authority will continue to update the public of the construction schedules as work progresses from street to street. Residents are urged to register at www.vialert.gov, as it will be one of the Authority’s outlets used to update the community when traffic detours become necessary. Information is also available on WAPA’s website at www.viwapa.vi , on the Authority’s Facebook page or by push notifications through 1855VIservices.com

 

For further inquiries about the project, email communications@viwapa.vi, or call (340) 773-2250 ext. 4085 or 2050, or (340) 690-5758.

 

The Christiansted Underground project is a critical component of WAPA’s larger underground mitigation plan for the Virgin Islands. Upon project completion, there will be significant increase in service reliability in the town area. Undergrounding will also reduce the destruction and lengthy restoration process of Christiansted’s electrical distribution system in the event of a hurricane or other major events.

WAPA thanks the public for its understanding while the utility works to improve service reliability in the Christiansted town area.

               

Background Information

As the weeks progress, work will continue on King Street, Church Street and Company Street. and the entire Phase II Underground Project is expected to be completed by March of 2013.

The installation of underground ducts and electrical cables in Christiansted will be completed in three phases. Phase I, completed in 2010, serves as the backbone for future projects to remove the aerial system in Christiansted. Phase II includes underground line installation on Strand, King, and Company Streets, and Phase III will include Queen, Hill, East and Fisher Streets in Christiansted town. The phase II portion of the project, which is funded by several federal grants and requires a 75/25 percent cost share between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and WAPA, has a total price tag of approximately $2 million. WAPA’s 25% of the cost share is funded by customer payments into the Self-Insurance and Hazard Mitigation Fund. This was established in 1994 to help minimize the potential impact of natural disasters on the electrical system and to initiate immediate restoration of the system should there be a delay or absence of federal funds during disaster restoration. The customer surcharge was eliminated in February 2006 when the fund reached its approved limit of $8 million. WAPA currently has undergrounding projects in Market Square, St. Thomas and from Estate Richmond to the proposed Midland Substation in Estate Spanish Town, St. Croix. On St. Thomas and St. Croix, underground lines already serve customers from the power plants to the hospitals and the airports.