A rendering of the Loredon L. Boynes Sr. Dock in Cruz Bay, St. John. By THE VIRGIN ISLANDS PORT AUTHORITY
Renovation and improvements to the Loredon L. Boynes Sr. Dock in Cruz Bay, St. John has seemingly received the green light from residents who came to hear about how the construction will proceed at a public meeting on Thursday evening.
The Boynes Dock is the primary port of entry on St. John and facilitates the daily movement of thousands of residents and visitors traveling between Red Hook on St. Thomas and Cruz Bay.
The $1.5 million renovation project is slated to begin in April 2023 and end in September of that same year.
Carlton Dowe, executive director of the Virgin Islands Port Authority warned that operations will be affected and some services are likely to experience delays during that time.
“When you’re doing any construction project, things happen from time to time that are beyond maybe the contractor control or our control, so we’re asking you to be patient,” the VIPA head said.
The project includes construction of restrooms, a canopy that will extend across the dock, resurfacing work on the pier, the addition of an electrical room and an emergency backup generator.
VIPA Director of Engineering Preston Beyer said the authority has been working with the contractor, Rodriguez and Garland Inc., to structure the work so any adverse impact on the festival season in July is limited. This will involve limiting construction work during peak passenger hours.
Otherwise, daily construction activity is scheduled to run from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, barring any unforeseen changes.
“The ferries will continue to use the Boynes dock throughout construction and we hope that the way we have structured the work will minimize the impact and that they will be able to operate according to the schedule throughout the duration of the project,” Mr. Beyer explained.
Police will be deployed at the dock to assist with crowd and traffic control during construction hours.
Meanwhile, Mr. Dowe asked residents to remain patient as he acknowledged that no time is going to be the perfect time to start construction.
The St. Thomas/St. John Historic Preservation Committee approved the project’s plans in May 2022, and it was also approved by the V.I. Coastal Zone Management Commission. Construction will be funded primarily by an appropriation from the 33rd Legislature via Act No. 8401 (Bill No. 33-0362) sponsored by Senator Donna Frett-Gregory, which uses monies collected for the St. John Capital Improvement Fund to pay for the renovations.