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Work Set to Start on North Shore Road

July 21, 2005 – The roads along St. John's north shore through the V.I. National Park are about to get an upgrade. Work will start July 27, the park's facility manager, Lucious Sims, said Thursday.
This work is part of a major overhaul that will see the entire North Shore Road repaved in 2008, Sims said. Parking lots will be repaved in 2010.
Jerry Runyan, the Federal Highway Administration engineer working on this project, said this stage of the work includes improving and repaving Hawksnest Bay parking lot, which will necessitate closing the entire beach, toilets and parking lot until Oct. 1.
This part of the project also includes improvements to the popular Cruz Bay overlook, located near Asolare Restaurant on North Shore Road. The area will get a stone wall at its perimeter and paving from the road's edge to the wall.
"It's going to be similar to what's at Caneel Bay," Runyan said. Other improvements will be less obvious but will strengthen the area.
Crews also will work on the North Shore Road near Caneel Bay Resort. Sims said they will replace slumping rock-filled wire baskets called gabions located on the water side of the road. Runyan said there will also be repaving in this area.
Drivers may experience some traffic delays as crews work on the Cruz Bay overlook and the section of the road near Caneel Bay Resort.
Runyan said that as soon as those projects finish in mid-October, work will begin on replacing gabions on the North Shore Road near Cinnamon Bay. Crews also will work near Trunk Bay to install rocks to prevent roadside erosion and boulders to keep vehicles from parking along the road. Improvements also will be made to the North Shore Road as it runs between Hawsknest Bay and Trunk Bay.
"We'll try to get as far as we can by Dec. 1 and start again in May," Runyan said. The busy winter season begins around Dec. 1, which would make it hard from crews to work along this very busy stretch of the North Shore Road.
In December, crews will start making repairs on the roads between Cinnamon Bay and Centerline Road. Projects include installing boulders to prevent topsoil erosion near Maho Bay and shoring up the Penn Point drop off, both on the North Shore Road.
Sims said the project also includes improvements to the road between Francis Bay and Leinster Bay. Additionally, crews will make repairs at the King Hill Road switchback, where it appears a large vehicle hit the stone retaining wall. Other repairs will be made at the top of King Hill Road.
Runyan said this work will wrap up May 30.
He said work on the 2005-2006 projects is expected to cost $2.9 million.

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