March 16, 2023


U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS — Several Department of Public Works (DPW) employees attended the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) United States Territorial Peer Exchange (USTPE) Conference earlier this year in Oakland, CA.

USPTE was established to provide a forum for representatives from the US Territories. It advocates and highlights the federal aid program to various territories. It also provided technical assistance in transportation areas, which is necessary due to the territory’s complex needs related to the islands’ infrastructures.

DPW’s Office of Highway Engineering was given the opportunity to share and connect with many others while witnessing completed and ongoing projects throughout Northern California.

“We were happy to have the opportunity to present and share the numerous similarities between our programs and information about other territories,” said Jomo McClean, Federal Highway Program Manager.

The conference was held at the California Department of Transportation’s District 4 offices.  The theme for this year was Partnership: Collaborating to Address Unique Transportation Challenges Facing the Territories.

Each territory made presentations on various topics such as the Emergency Relief Program, National Transportation Response and Recovery Program, Transportation Asset Management, Resiliency, Ferry Boat Program, Financial Management, and ADA-Compliant Plans.  Participants from the Virgin Islands gave presentations on Pavement Assessment Management Tools, Bridge Programs, Ferry Boat Programs, and Emergency Relief Case Studies.

“I want to thank our federal and territorial partners for this phenomenal experience,” said Commissioner Derek Gabriel. “Many of the other territories have similar issues and it was good to see how they are addressing those problems in their respective home islands and share lessons learned. I also want to thank our team, specifically Jomo McClean and Piotr Gajewski, for their involvement in planning the exchange,” Commissioner Gabriel concluded.

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DPW…On the move!