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U.S. Virgin Islands

Program # of Grants EDA Funds
Public Works 2 $1,871,618
Grand Total 2 $1,871,618
Caption below
U.S. Virgin Islands Port Authority – Shoreline Bulkhead and Airport Terminal stabilization project in St. Croix, Virgin Islands

St. Croix, VI - The aging infrastructure at the Christiansted Water Gut Seaplane Facility lacks stabilization of the shoreline bulkhead and plane terminal embarkation and requires improvements to continue business operations at the Seaplane Facility. The Seaplane Facility is currently in a major state of disrepair that compromises travel access, passenger embarkation and reduces overall ridership. Over the years there has been a noticeable decline in passenger willingness to use this transportation route, instead opting for the inconvenient route of travelling between airports. The Christiansted Water Gut Seaplane Facility is a major inter-island transportation hub for the territory and is the preferred option for business travel between St. Croix and St. Thomas.

In June 2017, EDA invested $1,760,000 in Public Works funds to the Virgin Island Port Authority (VIPA) to fund improvements and repairs of the terminal area and shoreline at the Christiansted Seaplane Water Gut Seaplane Facility. Tenants at the facility had expressed to VIPA on numerous occasions that the dilapidated state of the facility is adversely impacting business and hindering potential for economic growth. There is an overwhelming demand for air travel to and from St. Thomas from the Christiansted Harbor; however, this demand could not be met due to the condition of the facility. Additionally, in 2017, following the award announcement, Hurricanes Irma and Maria exacerbated the conditions of the terminal. EDA amended the grant to include additional funding that would assist in the hurricanes’ unfortunate impact.

The St. Croix Christiansted airport terminal is within walking distance to the business district, and travelers from the terminal can arrive promptly in the center of the robust St. Thomas economy. Improvements to the terminal area and shoreline will increase ridership leading to potential expansion of various services and job growth. Seaborne Airlines has expressed that the new improvements would have a direct impact on improved revenues and creates the potential for future growth beyond the territory. VIPA has executed an exclusive long-term lease with one of the tenants at the facility, who has committed to providing services between St. Croix and St. Thomas with the possibility of adding ten additional flights per week. Additionally, it is expected that the proposed improvements will have a positive change on the overall local economy, lead to additional leased spaces that could potentially generate jobs and increase income contributing to the local Virgin Islands economy. The project is expected to retain 42 jobs and generate $1,900,000 in private investment.

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