Construction work on Long Bay Road nears completion


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ST. THOMAS - V.I. Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls said the last phase of the Long Bay Road project should be completed this summer.

The federally funded project began eight years ago and has cost about $25.4 million.

The first phase of the Long Bay Road project began in March 2008, with improvements to drainage and the widening of Centerline Road from Mandela Circle to Lockhart Gardens at a cost of $13 million.

The second phase of the project - which expanded Long Bay Road from Mandela Circle to the intersection with Veterans Drive and Lovers Lane - cost $5.6 million and was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The final phase of road work - which began June 2012 - will cost about $6.8 million in Federal Highway Administration funds.

The last step is to widen Frenchman's Bay Road in the Havensight area - between Mandela Circle and the entrance to the West Indian Co. dock - to four lanes.

In addition to widening the road, sidewalks will line the road on both sides, and a traffic light will be added at the southernmost entrance to Havensight Mall.

The project includes drainage improvements to alleviate flooding through the area and will relocate utility infrastructure underground.

V.I. Water and Power Authority Executive Director Hugo Hodge Jr. said the utility's part of the project is on track.

"We're ahead of what we have to get done," he said.

Once the third phase is complete, the landscaping that has been planted along Long Bay Road will continue down Frenchman's Bay Road, Smalls said.

As part of the project, at least six mahogany trees were cut down, but several will remain as part of the landscaping along the median. The contractor for the project is V.I. Paving, and the contract is between V.I. Paving and Eastern Federal Lands in conjunction with Public Works.

Eastern Federal Lands is a federal entity under the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration and is charged with monitoring and managing federal road projects.

- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email alewin@dailynews.vi.

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