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Cruz Bay
Wednesday, December 7, 2022


July 16, 2002 – Work on St. John's Enighed Pond commercial port should start early next year, Port Authority engineering director Dale Gregory said after a meeting on Monday called to discuss the project with construction company representatives.
About 50 people showed up at the meeting held at the Marketplace shopping center across from Enighed Pond. However, many were subcontractors and suppliers looking for a piece of the pie rather than the entire job.
"Only about a half dozen will bid on the job," predicted St. John resident Norm Gledhill, who spent much of his working career on jobs similar to Enighed Pond.
St. John resident Bob Hart, who owns BobCat Construction, said he'd like to be part of the project management team. "I did a similar project in Guam," he said.
Larry Best, a St. John surveyor, said he attended the meeting because he'd like to get the surveying subcontract.
Gregory said he was surprised at the number of people who requested bid packages. He said the Port Authority sold about 35 of them, an unusually high number for a project of the type. While there was one person wearing a T-shirt from the St. Thomas-based Majestic Construction Co. and a handful of St. Thomas and St. John tradesmen such as Best and Hart, most of those present were from off island.
"It's our kind of work. We have the perfect piece of equipment for this kind of job," said Allen Waller, chief estimator for Boston-based Jay Cashman Inc.
Dino Fiscaletti, a manager at Maguire Group Inc., a Port Authority's consultant company, said many of the contractors at the meeting came from companies with experience in the Caribbean. They have until Aug. 13 to submit questions on the project to the Port Authority. Bids must be in by Aug. 27.
Gregory, rushing off for a site tour of the Enighed Pond area with the contractors, said since he did not have his timetable handy, he did not have the date when the contract would be awarded. He said the contractor will have 455 days — about 15 months — to finish the project.
He said the Port Authority would take into account the bidders' technical qualifications, experience in similar projects, use of local workers, and price in deciding who gets the contract. "Price is not necessary the deciding factor. There's a formula we're going to use," he said.
The contractor must agree to set aside 15 percent of the project for local companies listed with the Public Works Department as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, referred to in the industry as DBE's. The contractors must have their deals arranged with the DBE's before they submit their bids. Other than that, Gregory said, there is no requirement that the successful contractor hire local residents.
The meeting also drew a few residents, such as Gledhill, who simply are interested in tracking how the long-awaited Enighed Pond project proceeds. Rafe Boulon, chief of resource management at the V.I. National Park and a St. John resident, said he has long been a supporter of the project. "It think it's pretty exciting that something is actually happening," he said.
The project is expected to ease Cruz Bay's traffic congestion. It has been decades in the making, a fact Port Authority planner Darlan Brin alluded to when he told one contractor that he doesn't expect to make any changes that would necessitate going back to various federal and local agencies for alterations in their permits.
Citing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit that took much effort and time to secure, Brin said that the Army Corps now has more stringent regulations than it did when it granted the permit to the Port Authority. The new regulations would require the Port Authority to come up with more mitigation measures for the $12 million project, he said.
The contractors spent much of Monday's question-and-answer period discussing the Port Authority's program of transplanting coral to move it out of the way of the project site, a requirement of the Army Corps permit. Brin said that the project has been successful so far. "We've done it successfully before," he said.
The project also calls for the establishment of mangrove islands in the pond utilizing soil dredged for the commercial port. Should the mangroves die within five years as a result of damage by the contractor, Fiscaletti said, the contractor would be held liable.

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