By the Caribbean Journal staff
The United States Virgin Islands has officially launched a $120 million transformation project of the waterfront area in downtown Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas.
The project is the “single largest road project in United States Virgin Islands history,” according to Governor Kenneth Mapp, who broke ground on the project this week.
“There are some who say I like to build,” Mapp said. “I agree: I am a builder. I also like to break down old things,” he added, as he emphasized that his Administration’s goal is not just to preserve the status quo, but to challenge existing conditions by offering solutions for age-old problems besetting the Territory.”
The long-awaited project received its first environmental approval back in October 1984 until it was finally approved last summer.
The project adds two additional lanes and a new pedestrian promenade along the harbor, supported by a strong sea wall. An additional sidewalk along the north side will also ensure a safer walking and sightseeing experience for residents and visitors, according to the the Department of Public Works.
The upgrade includes new traffic signals and an improved storm drainage, while bastion-like projections along the promenade, along with landscaping and improved lighting for pedestrians, will improve the look of the waterfront area and “amplify the many cultural and historical features that downtown Charlotte Amalie has to offer” the territory said in a statement.
The project’s design team includes WSP Global Inc., the Jaredian Design Group and Public Works’ project management team led by Design Program Manager Jomo McClean.