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Friday, May 24, 2024


Nov. 26, 2001 – On Wednesday evening, the public is invited to attend a meeting to learn about and ask questions about plans to widen and otherwise upgrade the three roads that converge at what is probably the busiest intersection on St. Thomas: Mandela Circle.
The plan is aimed at alleviating the continual traffic jams there soon, according to Public Works Commissioner Wayne Callwood.
Long Bay Road, Centerline Road (also known as Estate Thomas Road) and Frenchman's Bay Road (the road through Havensight) are all to be widened at the area where they come together. The federally funded highway project will extend from the Lucinda Millin Home to the main entrance of Havensight Mall.
The Public Works Department is hosting the 6 p.m. meeting particularly to answer questions of property owners in the area and others who may be affected by the road construction. The meeting will take place in the Public Service Commission conference room in Barbel Plaza. In a release, Callwood urged "everyone in the community to attend this important meeting to hear first hand the proposed improvements slated for the area."
Callwood said the project will add two more lanes to Long Bay Road and Frenchman's Bay Road, expanding them to four-lane thoroughfares. He said it will add another lane to Centerline Road, which runs between Mandela Circle and Wheatley Center, making it a three-lane road.
The project, estimated at $10 million to $15 million, is totally funded by Federal Highway Administration funds. According to a report in The Virgin Islands Daily News, Callwood stated emphatically that the widening project is in no way associated with "Plan 8," a long-standing and much-disputed proposal to reroute Veterans Drive to the harbor side of the Legislature Building and create a multi-lane highway sytem between Frenchtown and Long Bay.
Repeated calls to Callwood's office on Friday and Monday were not returned.
The Mandela Circle intersection is often a traffic tie-up all day and into the night, as East End residents drive into town to work in the morning and back home in the evening, West End residents who work to the east do the same in reverse direction, and taxis and safari buses transport cruise ship visitors and Red Hook ferry passengers into town and back.
According to the Daily News report, Callwood doesn't have a timetable for the project but said the money is in hand and all he needs is input from the public in order to get the work under way.

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