U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS — Governor Albert Bryan Jr., Lt. Governor Tregenza A. Roach and Public Works Commissioner Nelson Petty Jr. had a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning for the completion of the initial phase of the Veterans Drive road project, which is part of a larger revitalization of the St. Thomas Waterfront and Downtown Charlotte Amalie.
After some brief remarks, Governor Bryan and Lt. Governor Roach led a cavalcade of vehicles for an inaugural drive on the newly opened road.
Phase 1 of the Veterans Drive Improvement Project finished by the American Bridge Company well before its completion date of July 2021 at a cost of $45 million.
The scope of work included roadway widening; pavement reconstruction; seawall construction; drainage improvements; lighting; installation of a new expanded promenade and landscaping.
The design for Phase 2 is scheduled to be completed in 2021, with an estimated cost of $100 million.
The work for Phase 2 will include widening lanes on the waterfront from 9 to 11 feet; expanding the promenade, which will have a double alley of trees to enhance the pedestrian experience; raised speed tables for pedestrian crossings; areas for sidewalk cafes and other commercial activity; pedestrian and road lighting; a landscaped median; and improvements to the plaza area, which will include a water feature.
Upon the project’s completion, the existing roadway between the Legislature and Fort Christian will be closed to become a pedestrian walkway.
The Veterans Drive road project is the result of a multi-day charrette called the Town’s Blueprint that took place in 2010.
In addition to Governor Bryan, Lt. Governor Roach and Commissioner Petty, others who participated in the ribbon-cutting were American Bridge Company Project Manager Justin Berglund, St. Thomas-Water Island Administrator Avery Lewis, Veterans Affairs Director Patrick Farrell, Pastor Merle Malone of Frederick Evangelical Lutheran Church, Eric Castro, of Grade All Construction, and St. Thomas-St. John Police Chief Steven Phillip.