More than five months after work on revamping Cruz Bay Park started, the fence that surrounded the park came down last week and the park is now open.
The park, which sits just across from the Cruz Bay waterfront, is one of the first things people see when leaving the ferry dock.
While most of the work is finished—about five weeks after its mid-June target date—one big project remains.
“The landscaping is still up in the air,” St. John Administrator Leona Smith said, noting that he park has a dozen planters to still be be filled.
The park, also called Franklin Powell Park, has brick pavers throughout and new benches. However, those benches provide individual seating so that no one can sleep on them. This should help with the problem of homeless people sleeping on the benches.
Additionally, the bandstand now has an accessible ramp.
The project, which cost $336,000 was completed by Apex Construction.
In addition to causing traffic issues at the ferry dock because pedestrians were forced to walk in the street rather than on the sidewalk that ran along the edge of the park, the project disrupted Cruz Bay commerce.
A handful of businesses front on the park, and their customers who usually entered the businesses through the park had to walk around the fenced park and find the path that led to the businesses.
“But it’s done now and it’s beautiful,” Alice Krall, owner of Coral Bay Jewelers, said.
She said the revamped park was spacious and well laid-out.
Matt Harrington, a bartender at JJ’s Texas Coast Café, said daytime business picked up as soon as the fence went down.
“And nighttime business is starting to pick up,” he said.