Cinnamon Bay Campground. By National Park Service.
ST. JOHN — The redevelopment of Cinnamon Bay Campground in St. John will now be delayed to allow for the abatement of a small amount of asbestos found during precautionary testing of underground sewer pipes, the Virgin Islands National Park, a division of the U.S. National Park Service (N.P.S.), has announced. The affected area remains cordoned off by fencing and there is no immediate threat or concern for beachgoers or trail crew volunteers at Cinnamon Bay who remain outside of the designated work area.
N.P.S. said its concessionaire, Cinnopco LLC was completing a section of a larger underground pipe replacement project when the asbestos-containing piping material was found. In some sections of Cinnamon Bay Campground, the pipes have not been replaced or repaired in over 40 years. The Virgin Islands National Park said it sent a sample of the material to a local laboratory for testing. The results showed that only the waste water pipe was composed of 10 percent asbestos.
Cinnopco halted the project and dismissed workers from the site until the material can be properly removed, the release said. Cinnopco and the National Park are finalizing plans for the removal of the material, which will be replaced with safe, up-to-code pipes that meet National Park Service standards.
On Friday, Superintendent Nigel Fields acknowledged the setback in the redevelopment, but applauded Cinnopco for working closely with the park to ensure worker and visitor safety.
Beachgoers began seeing additional signs on Friday directing them to stay out of the unauthorized work area. The area has already been closed to the public since Cinnopco began work this summer.
Cinnopco site manager, Adrian Davis stated, “Our main concern during the repair and rebuilding of Cinnamon Bay is that everyone stay safe while enjoying access to the beach. The signs reemphasize the importance of everyone staying on the main path to and from the beach. While we are being sure to not compromise safety, we are eager to complete this part of the project so we can move forward with the reopening of the rest of the campground.”
The hazard signs will remain installed until pipe removal is complete, V.I.N.P. said. The park and Cinnopco will update the public when the work is scheduled to commence in the coming weeks.