Amidst more than a half-dozen ongoing infrastructure projects throughout the U.S. Virgin Island's (USVI) downtown areas, some close to completion, Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. sent legislation to the local Senate requesting $1.5 million to complete improvements to the Frederiksted waterfront, spanning from Dorsch Beach along Strand Street to Buddhoe Park.
These new infrastructure upgrades and improvements in Frederiksted are part of the USVI administration’s initiative to revitalize downtown areas, which in turn is one of the foundations of upgrading, diversifying and expanding tourism offerings and improving the quality of life for Virgin Islanders.
The governor also said that negotiations have begun for redevelopment of Hotel on the Cay, which also serves as a key component of the revitalization efforts currently underway in Christiansted town.
Bryan recently met with Jayne Halcomb, the Director of Business Development for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, to discuss ways to improve the overall guest experience in the USVI, with a particular focus increased cruise traffic to the island of St. Croix.
“It stands to reason that if you want people to visit, you have to give them something worth visiting, and enhancing and restoring our beautiful downtowns in the USVI is essential to that effort. The more you have to offer, the more people will want to come and keep coming,” Bryan said. “It isn’t complicated, but reinvigorating Christiansted, Frederiksted, Charlotte Amalie and Cruz Bay is complex and involves many moving parts. However, that is the path to making the USVI more prosperous, more beautiful and more beneficial to all Virgin Islanders, and this administration will do everything it can to take the territory as far down that path as it can.”
Bryan’s proposal calls for upgrades and repairs to the Frederiksted waterfront area and lighting and other repairs to the Ann Abramson Pier.
A number of ongoing projects are complete or almost complete while others are well-underway, and still more are getting started. In addition to the plans for Buddhoe Park and Hotel on the Cay, other infrastructure improvements include:
Main Street on St. Thomas, which has been completed.
St. Thomas Veteran’s Drive widening, which is nearing the end of the second half of Phase I and landscaping on the Waterfront promenade is almost complete, as well.
The Battery in Cruz Bay, which is finished and in the process of being furnished.
Government House on St. Thomas, which is expected to be completed this summer.
Road paving projects throughout the downtown areas, which are in various stages of completion.
Restoration and redevelopment of Gallows Bay Marina, which is set to begin this summer.
Restoration of the King’s Alley Pier, which is set to begin in early summer.
Lighting of the Ann Abramson Pier and installation of a tender dock at the pier, which also is set to begin in early summer.
“In addition to what the Central Government is doing, the Virgin Islands Port Authority already has begun various projects to rebuild the airport terminals in both districts, including a parking deck at King Airport on St. Thomas, proposed construction of a hotel at Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix, making improvements to the majority of the territory’s ports and about to begin dredging at Gallows Bay and in St. Thomas Harbor,” Bryan said. “So, it should come as no surprise that as we gain more and more control over the COVID-19 pandemic and the cruise ships return shortly, the outlook for the USVI and for Virgin Islanders, looks very promising.”