Last work on Frenchman's Bay road reroutes traffic to newly paved lanes

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ST. THOMAS - Traffic traveling through Havensight was rerouted Tuesday while construction continues.

Frenchman's Bay road is the final phase of the Long Bay Road project, a federally funded endeavor to reduce traffic congestion through the area.

The road is being widened from its original two lanes to four.

A new set of traffic signals was installed Tuesday at the entrance to Havensight Mall.

Work crews were helping to direct traffic through the construction zone and helping pedestrians cross the street.

The V.I. Water and Power Authority has moved power lines underground, installed service connections for all customers along Frenchman's Bay Road and energized the system, according to a Government House press release.

The contractor, V.I. Paving, will now complete construction on the west side of the road and lay down a final layer of asphalt.  

Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls said earlier this month that the project is expected to be completed by this summer.

Aside from the final paving and striping, Innovative Telephone and Cable TV must move their aerial cables to the new underground conduits, according to the Government House statement.

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 in 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 the traffic light and widening the road, sidewalks now line the road on both sides, and landscaping has been planted in what will be the median of the new four-lane road.

As part of the project, at least six mahogany trees were cut down, but several remain as part of the landscaping.

Eastern Federal Lands is the federal entity under the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration charged with monitoring and managing federal road projects, including the Long Bay Road project.

- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email

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