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HomeNewsArchivesLAMESHUR ROAD TO CLOSE 45 DAYS FOR PAVING

LAMESHUR ROAD TO CLOSE 45 DAYS FOR PAVING

Aug. 29, 2002 – The intrepid few who regularly frequent Lameshur Bay Beach will have to go somewhere else while the V.I. National Park paves the 1,400-foot steep part of the dirt road leading downhill into the area.
The road will close Tuesday and remain closed for 45 days. For about a month after that, expect intermittent closures, said park engineer Walt Keyes.
While the paving job will improve the road's safety, the major reason centers on the environment.
"The main purpose is to reduce storm water runoff," said Clean Islands International director Randy Brown. Clean Islands operates the V.I. Environmental Resource Station, located near Lameshur Bay.
Brown said that scraping the dirt road helps, but within three months it's back to its same bad condition. The road gets a fair amount of traffic from people heading to the area to use the beach at what is officially called Great Lameshur Bay or to hike the trail that leads to Europa and Reef Bays and the trail up Bordeaux Mountain.
"They tear up the road," Brown said.
Brown said the improvement will help VIERS' bottom line by saving money now spent repairing its vehicle. He said the bad condition of the road damages the vehicle's muffler and brakes.
The timing is optimum for VIERS, which currently has no guests and is starting its slow period. Brown said the small staff will remain at work and, with cooperation from the construction crew, will be able to get in and out when necessary.
Keyes said the park ranger who lives at the Lameshur ranger station will temporarily move during construction.
Keyes said it is not possible to pave the road one side at a time so the public would still be able to use the road. "The road is too narrow," Keyes said, noting that it would not be possible for a vehicle to pass while the road is being paved.
Keyes said the project, which will be done by Majestic Construction Inc., will cost several thousand dollars. He could not be more specific. The money will come from the park's operating budget.
Brown said he expects that once the paving project is finished, traffic to this remote and peaceful area will increase a bit. However, he thinks the road's reputation as being difficult to drive will continue and will deter hordes of people from using the beach.
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