WAPA to replace all lamp posts in Christiansted

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Christiansted soon will get attractive, new, energy-efficient lamp posts throughout the town.

At its monthly meeting, the V.I. Water and Power Authority board voted to reprogram $350,000 from internal funds to replace all the streetlights in the historic town of Christiansted.

It is the last step to the Christiansted underground project, which buried all the electric lines in the area.

With the power lines underground, WAPA is removing all of its hardware - including streetlights - from the town's utility poles.

WAPA spokeswoman Jerain Fleming said once all of WAPA's property is removed, the poles will be turned over to Innovative, which still is using the poles for telephone and cable lines.

The new lamp posts will feature 80-watt decorative LED street lights, replacing the old 200-watt high-pressure sodium lights.

The new energy-efficient streetlights will be powered from the underground electrical system and will save the utility more than $8,000 a year in energy costs and require much less maintenance, according to WAPA officials.

WAPA Executive Director Hugo Hodge Jr. said the design of the lamp posts is awaiting approval of the Historic Preservation Commission. In other business at its meeting Thursday, the board: 

- Approved the extension of time for generator upgrades to Units 10 and 11 on St. Croix to Jan. 31. The 60-day extension will allow time for the contractor, GE International, to complete the mechanical and electrical checks. 

- Approved a 57-day extension for the St. John catchment tank liner replacement project. The extension, which will not add any cost to the project total, is needed for additional tests and commission of the tank. 

- Ratified a 20-day extension for the Nazareth transmission potable water distribution system project, to allow for additional work and review of the final design. The extension adds no cost to the project.

- Ratified a 36-day extension for the Anna's Retreat waterline phase 1B project, delayed as a result of rock excavation, pipe and fitting manufacture delays and inclement weather. No additional costs are associated with the extension.

- Approved a contract to Ambient Technologies to provide technical support for the repair, cleaning and preparation of the old water desalination plant. The units will be prepared for long-term shut-down in such a way that they can be reactivated in an emergency. WAPA now is making water through a reverse osmosis system operated by Seven Seas. The contract will be for a period of six months, at a cost not to exceed $200,000.

- Authorized an amendment to the existing contract with Dashiell Corporation to construct a storage facility at the St. Croix Midland Substation site. The facility will house poles and transformers for WAPA's line department. The cost of construction, $374,920, will be offset from the credits due to WAPA by the contractor.

- Approved a contract not to exceed $411,775 to Pathway Metroflex Dampers to provide one diverter damper, one fabric expansion joint, and one elbow and transition duct work for Unit 17 and waste-heat recovery generator 21. The units will produce steam for power production when the gas turbines are taken down to be retrofitted for the propane conversion project.

- Approved a $584,000 contract with Stamm Manufacturing to design, manufacture and supply two digger derrick pole trucks capable of carrying two 65-foot poles. 

- Authorized the development of an investment policy for WAPA.

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

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