Port Authority approves Crown Bay dredging, pier expansion

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ST. THOMAS - The V.I. Port Authority board approved two major task orders for improvement projects planned for the Crown Bay area on St. Thomas.

The board approved a $512,200 order that will enable CDR Maguire, Inc., a national civil engineering firm based in Florida, to proceed with the expansion of the Crown Bay pier, an improvement that the Port Authority believes will further accommodate cruise lines using the port. CDR Maguire will work with the Port Authority to design the expansion, which will fill a large gap at the end of the current pier configuration.

"There's a piece that breaks the symmetry of the whole thing," said Dale Gregory, director of engineering for the authority.

The board also approved a $449,000 task order to allow CDR Maguire to move forward with the dredging of Crown Bay, which the Port Authority hopes to have complete by November this year, when the territory begins its high season in tourism.

The dredging will take up more than 12,600 cubic yards of material from Crown Bay, all of which is expected to be disposed of at the St. Croix quarry site. Two part-time monitors, one on St. Thomas and one on St. Croix, will oversee the disposal, according to the order.

CDR Maguire will serve as the design partner for the Port Authority through the pier expansion and the dredging and will prepare the necessary documents and services needed for the projects, according to the orders. The Port Authority expects to receive its Army Corps of Engineers permit for the dredging project in the next two months.

CDR Maguire is expected to provide estimates of the total cost for the dredging project and the pier expansion.

The Port Authority also has been in discussion with Bioimpact, Inc., which will oversee the acoustic monitoring and seagrass mitigation efforts during the projects, according to Bioimpact's proposal.

Solar panels

The Port Authority board also approved an amended request for proposals seeking professional services including the design, furnishing and installation of photovoltaic panels at King Airport on St. Thomas and Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix. The proponents are asked to provide proposals that would generate up to 5 megawatts of solar power at each airport.

The Port Authority intends to negotiate an energy performance contract, in which the company that is awarded the request would provide, install and maintain the panels during the term of the contract at no cost to the Port Authority. The costs and fees are to be recovered by the savings generated by the installation of the panels, according to the RFP.

Fish market

The board also approved the transfer of 8,205 square feet of land at Enighed Pond in Cruz Bay, St. John, to the V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. The land is expected to be used for a fish market, according to the transfer documents.

The relocation of the market from the Creek Area in Cruz Bay is hoped to stop the "mixed operations" of charter and commercial boats and passenger ferries with local fishermen.

Rescue vehicle

The governing board approved the purchase of a $17,240 aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicle. The vehicle would replace the existing vehicle, which is more than a decade old and has served its life in accordance with the Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

The new vehicle would be stationed at King Airport on St. Thomas.

Bard members present at Wednesday's meeting were Attorney General Vincent Frazer; Manuel Gutierrez Jr.; Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty; Robert O'Connor; Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls; and Yvonne Thraen. Labor Commissioner Albert Bryan Jr. and Allison Patrus were absent.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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