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WAPA Continues St. Croix Feeder 8 Fiber Optic Cable Installation

(Monday, September 23, 2013)

The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority will be continuing work on the termination of a new 69kV transmission and fiber optic cable along the route of St. Croix underground Feeder #8 from Tuesday, September 24 until Tuesday, October 1.   Fortress Electric crews will work from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning on Route #75 in the vicinity of the Juanita Gardine School and continuing 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 under construction. 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 and 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 feeds and line crews will have the ability to isolate areas for maintenance work, as opposed to interrupting service to an entire feeder.

During the final installation phase, Fortress Electric crews will dewater and clean manholes, finish racking power cables in the manholes, finalize terminations, grounding, install grounding link boxes and test high voltage power cables in 30 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 $1,140,310.90 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. 

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.