The Department of Public Works (D.P.W.) has announced that road repairs will commence today on the Queen Mary Highway. The project, which will start in the vicinity of Armstrong Ice Cream at Estate Whim and continue east to the bus shanty at Estate Two Williams, will entail the reconditioning and paving of 4000 linear feet of roadway, D.P.W. said. Road repairs are expected to continue through June 4.
The announcement signals the commencement of major road work announced by Governor Kenneth Mapp recently, which comes as part of $530 million in combined federal and local funds to reconstruct roads territory-wide.
“Today I can advise you that the Government of the Virgin Islands and its federal partners will be placing $530 million on the road systems of the U.S. Virgin Islands,” Mr. Mapp announced during a press conference held on April 24 in St. Thomas. He included the $100 million provided through GARVEE bonds currently sitting in the local treasury as part of the total, so in actuality the current federally funded amount is $430 million.
“We’re going to add approximately $430 million as of today for construction of a modern road system in the Virgin Islands,” Mr. Mapp said. “Today we can tell you that $80 million of those dollars will come from FEMA public assistance; $100 million will come from FEMA hazard mitigation grant program; $40 million is coming from Federal Highway Emergency Road Repairs Program; $205 million will be coming from the Community Development Block Grant-DR funds; [and] $5 million has already been approved by the Department of Interior for hurricane recovery.”
The $530 million will allow the local government to construct the territory’s roads to federal highway standards, Mr. Mapp said. “Those roads are from stem to stern, from beginning to end,” he said.
For the Queen Mary Highway project slated to commence today, D.P.W. urged motorists to exercise caution as they traverse the roads adjacent to the construction site. The department asked for the community’s cooperation during the construction phase and apologized for any inconvenience that may arise.