Repairs to Centerline Road on St. John to begin in January

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Island Roads Corporation was granted a Notice to Proceed on a project that will construct retaining walls on three of the most damaged locations along Centerline Road on St. John.

Repairs are expected to begin after the holidays, according to a statement Government House issued Wednesday.

The Notice to Proceed issued this week followed Gov. John deJongh Jr.'s signing of a contract between Island Roads and the government at the end of last month.

Portions of the road - which is the primary link between Cruz Bay and Coral Bay - were heavily damaged by Tropical Storm Otto in 2010.

Following repeated complaints by Coral Bay residents, the V.I. Public Works Department closed one lane of the road at its most-damaged point in June.

The project is expected to take nine months to complete at a cost of just more than $1 million, and it includes rebuilding the edge of the road and reconstructing major sections of the roadway washed out in the tropical storm all along Centerline Road.

According to Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls, the Federal Highway Administration granted initial approval for the reconstruction in January 2012. Following a number of administrative procedures, the Department of Property and Procurement advertised for bids for the repair project in June, according to Government House.

Bids were received a month later, and Island Roads was selected as the contractor in August. The Federal Highway Administration had approved the contractor selection process and granted its final go ahead for the project in November.

"I appreciate the patience of the St. John community and understand their frustration for the time it has taken us to reach this point," Smalls said in the prepared statement.

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