The Commissioner of Public Works said he's in the market for $5 million dollars worth of new ferries for the Red Hook-Cruz Bay run.
In an appearance before a Virgin islands Senate committee, Darryl Smalls said the government raised the money "from various federal sources," the Virgin Islands Daily News reported. Smalls said he is now soliciting bids for the purchases and hopes the ferries will arrive before New Year's.
Smalls also said $23 million worth of Public Works projects are underway on the island, such as repairs and improvements to Gifft Hill.
The Commissioner said projects on St. John, as well as St. Croix and St. Thomas, are moving more slowly than he'd like. Part of the problem is the availability of concrete. Cost is an issue, too. Concrete costs $183 a yard on St. Thomas. St. John concrete goes for $205 a yard. In Puerto Rico, you can fill up a hole for $110 a cubic yard.
The Daily News quoted Smalls also saying there are only two paving contractors in the Territory. Because they realize the federal stimulus-funded work is a one-time thing, contractors are not eager to hire additional people or purchase equipment which could speed up the work.
Read the full Daily News story at http://www.virginislandsdailynews.com/index.pl/article_home?id=17643453