Home News Local news WORK TO BEGIN NEXT MONTH ON RETAINING WALLS

WORK TO BEGIN NEXT MONTH ON RETAINING WALLS

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Sept. 5, 2003 – A million-dollar federal highway improvement project involving the construction of retaining walls along two well-traveled hillside roadways on St. Thomas is expected to begin next month.
Two months ago, the Public Works Department accepted the low bid from Island Roads Inc. to construct the walls. One will be built on Crown Mountain Road about half a mile from the intersection of Scott Free Road. The other will be erected at the intersection of Valdemar E. Hill Sr. Drive, commonly known as Skyline Drive, with Mafolie Road.
In a Government House release issued this week, Public Works Commissioner Wayne Callwood said that project, contracted for just over $1 million, will be funded entirely by the federal government. Work is expected to begin in mid-October and continue through next June, according to Wystan Benjamin, Public Works design and construction program manager.
"It will be a lot of work," Benjamin said, but the undertaking is expected to "fix the problem we have with the road collapsing and flooding problems in both areas."
According to Benjamin, an existing stone wall on Crown Mountain Road is collapsing, "compromising the integrity of the road."
"We’re seeing damage between the wall and the road, and when it rains, some houses in the area get flooded," he said. Residents have complained to Public Works about the flooding, he said.
Because of the deteriorated state of the wall, it will be dismantled and replaced with a new 250-foot concrete retaining structure. Work at the site also will involve restoring the deteriorated road.
At the Mafolie Road and Skyline Drive intersection there is no existing wall, but "a similar problem exists" with the roadway, Benjamin said. Public Works has obtained easements from property owners to do the work there, he said.
The overall project is being administered by the Federal Highway Administration, which is providing the funding. When construction gets under way, traffic will be reduced to one lane and detour signs will be put up. The V.I. government will begin issuing advisories to motorists when the work begins.
The Government House release quoted Callwood as saying that "once the retaining walls are completed, the well-being of the motoring public will be raised to a heightened level of safety."

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