U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS - The Department of Public Works continues to work with Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division (EFL) to restore all traffic signals in the territory. Several contracts were issued to Islands Roads and VI Paving on St. Thomas and St. Croix, respectively, and are managed by EFL directly. All St. Croix signals damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria have been replaced with new signals and/or mast arms.
On St. Thomas, the department has restored 27 of the 35 damaged traffic signals using in-stock equipment, however, there was not sufficient material on-hand to retrofit all. Work on the eight remaining inoperable intersections is underway; pole bases are currently being installed at two sites on Route 38 near Four Winds Plaza. The intersection at Market Square East is expected to be completed in September, as the remaining parts are scheduled to arrive next week. The contractor, Charles Electric, is also slated to complete the temporary repairs to the three traffic lights on Route 308 near the Department of Finance, Green Corner and the Enid M. Baa Public Library. The traffic signals at the head of Pave Street (adjacent to the former Wet Willy’s) and the entrance to Yacht Haven Grande are expected to be completed by the end of September.
As previously stated, the parts backlog is due largely to a supply and demand issue with the mast arm and post manufacturer. The active 2017 hurricane season caused much damage throughout the region and lower United States and has made the lengthy process of securing these items more drawn-out. The new traffic lights and some necessary parts are already on-island, but many of the most critical components have not made their way to St. Thomas as yet.
“I understand the community’s dissatisfaction with the prolonged timeline,” said Commissioner Nelson Petty Jr., P.E. “I am not pleased with it either, but I am asking for your continued patience in knowing the department is doing everything in its power to complete the installations.”
The traffic signal operation will continue for the next several weeks as many of the operable intersections will also receive new mast arms, poles, signal heads, camera detection and control boxes. The final phase of the installation will include illuminated street name signage.
The Department of Public Works appreciates the community's patience as they work to improve road conditions throughout the territory. Follow DPW on Facebook @usvidpw and @vitranusvi. You can also log on to www.dpw.vi.gov and www.vitranvi.com to stay abreast of all things V.I. Public Works.