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Week #13 Update on the Christiansted Underground Phase II Project

(Tuesday, January 29, 2013)


The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority

NEWS RELEASE

 

January 29, 2013

 

WEEK #13  UPDATE: CHRISTIANSTED UNDERGROUND PROJECT PHASE II WORK CONTINUES

ON KING AND QUEEN CROSS STREETS 

 

Work on the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority’s Christiansted Underground Project Phase II continues Wednesday and Thursday, January 30 and 31 on King Street between Queen Cross and Church Streets.  By Friday, February 1, J. Benton Construction crews will work at the intersection of King and Queen Cross Streets and then along Queen Cross Street to Company Street.  By Tuesday, February 5, crews are scheduled to move to the intersection of King and King Cross Streets and work towards Company Street. Work hours will be from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.  

Motorists are urged to travel along the Christiansted Bypass as often as possible to conveniently access the town areas or to enter town from Bassin Triangle via the Watergut Road.  Please closely observe all signage as it is helpful in identifying detours, and roads closed to vehicular traffic.  Flaggers will be present for informational purposes and to facilitate foot traffic.  All sidewalks in Christiansted town are open for safe access to stores, restaurants and business offices. 

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 about traffic detours or schedule changes. Information is also available on WAPA’s website at www.viwapa.vi and on the Authority’s Facebook page. 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.

 TCP - King St-Queen Cross to Church (1)

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