August 25, 2020
Jacksonville, Florida – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announces that Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, commanding general, has signed this week 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. “We were given a mission which was to come up with innovating solutions in order to protect our communities from the devastating flood effects and each of these proposed projects fulfill that mission.”
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 Corps proposes to construct 1,500 feet of the remaining covered concrete channel, a series of drop structures, a debris trap, and to replace three bridges with sections of covered channel.
The Turpentine Run Project seeks to protect the Nadir area in St. Thomas. The current government estimate is above the statutory CAP budget limits. The proposed recreation features for the project include passive recreation facilities such as a nature walk on top of the levee, picnic facilities, and parking. Walkways, benches, and interpretive signage for the nature trail would be incorporated on the earthen levee.
Public Affairs Specialist
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
Antilles Office – Puerto Rico