Virgin Islands projects on the way

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commanding general, Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite has signed the Chief’s Reports for two flood damage reduction studies in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The signing of these reports for the Savan Gut Phase II and Turpentine Run projects, marks a crucial milestone and progresses the proposed projects to Congress for individual authorization.

“Today we are celebrating a tremendous milestone, our team has worked tirelessly in order to get us to this point and to advance these projects closer to reality,” said Jacksonville District Commander, Col. Drew Kelly.

Both studies were initially authorized under the Continuing Authorities Program (CAP), Section 205 of the Flood Control Act of 1948, Public Law 80-858, as amended.

The studies, completed at full federal expense, were funded by the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act, had a cost of $400,000 each. The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Public Works is the non-federal sponsor for both projects.

The primary goal and purpose of each proposed project is to protect the communities in the study area by providing effective flood protection and reducing damages.

The Savan Gut Phase II Project seeks to protect the area of Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas. Phase I was completed in 1989. Phase II of the project was advertised in 1999 with bids exceeding the government estimate and the capacity of the statutory CAP budget limits.

The Turpentine Run Project seeks to protect the Nadir area in St. Thomas. The current government estimate is above the statutory CAP budget limits.

Photo: USACE