October 1, 2021
The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority has announced a start date on another of its underground electrical projects on St. Croix.
Beginning on October 12, Vivot Equipment Corporation will mobilize crews to initiate trenching and conduit installation on the Golden Grove project. The work involves the undergrounding of electrical equipment from the grounds of the John A. Bell Correctional Complex to the intersection of Golden Grove and Centerline roads.
“This is another of the federally-funded underground projects that WAPA will be pursuing over the next few years. Similar to ongoing work at the Container Port on St. Croix, and at two locations on St. John, the Golden Grove project calls for replacement of overhead electrical equipment with underground service to minimize damage from windstorms and ensure a more efficient post-storm service restoration,” said Interim Executive Director / CEO Noel Hodge.
Once completed, underground electrical service will be provided to the prison as well as the Patrick Sweeney police headquarters, Bureau of Motor Vehicles as well as to homeowners and businesses along the route.
Vivot, a St. Croix-based company, is the contractor of record for the $1.7 million project that is slated to be completed within six months. Ninety percent of the project is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with the remaining ten percent local match provided through monies awarded WAPA by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development, HUD.
“The scope of work consists of trenching the roadway along the project path, installing conduits, underground electrical transmission and distribution lines and other related equipment. Upon completion, the trenches will be backfilled and roadways resurfaced,” Hodge said.
Once work is underway, traffic on the Golden Grove roadway may at times be limited to a single lane. Throughout the duration of the project, flaggers will be on site to assist with traffic control.
Hodge said that another underground electric project will soon commence in the Midland area of St. Croix. The undergrounding projects build on electrical system capacity already underground and serving critical facilities in both districts such as the territory’s hospitals and airports. Using federal funding, WAPA embarked on electrical equipment undergrounding following both Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and Hurricane Marilyn in 1995.
The projects are part of a mammoth strategic transformation plan the Authority has developed to enhance its electrical system territory-wide. The strategic plan calls for undergrounding of electrical equipment, installation of more resilient composite poles, the addition of renewables such as solar and wind, the development of microgrids complete with battery storage and the acquisition, installation and commissioning of new and more efficient generation capacity at the Authority’s power plants.
Highlights of the transformation plan are available on the WAPA website, www.viwapa.vi.