West End Terminal To Resume Operations By April

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March 13, 2018 7:03 am AST
Photo Credit: Sherine Williams/BVI Platinum News
The government is yet to bring in a temporary building to house the West End Ferry Terminal at Sopher’s Hole, but is assuring that operations will resume by April.

Hon. Mark Vanterpool, Minister of Communications and Works, said that government has ordered a temporary building, which was shipped on February 19.

“…It is expected to arrive in the Territory shortly and it will be erected thereafter. We hope to have a temporary terminal operational by the end of April this year,” Hon. Vanterpool said. He was responding to questions in the House of Assembly last week.

Opposition Leader and First District Representative, Hon. Andrew Fahie had asked the Minister when the Ports will resume operations at Sopher’s Hole, so that the ferries could once again operate from the USVI to Sopher’s Hole.

However, Hon. Fahie said that he was hoping that the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) and the Minister would have moved forward with his suggestion to have a trailer on island almost immediately, to be used temporarily.

Minister Vanterpool said that BVI Ports Authority officials contacted the group for the trailer and they are still in discussions.

“In December I brought that (trailer idea) to the Minister…Because the trailer was ready and would have been here in nine days…They said that they received one call and not another one,” Hon. Fahie said.

He noted that many persons are without work due to the terminal not being in operation.

Since the National Democratic Party (NDP) administration took office in November 2011, they have been accused of placing the new Soper’s Hole Jetty project on the backburner, a project which was top priority for the former Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government.

NDP had considerably scaled back the project by some $40M. Under VIP government, the expansion was estimated to cost in the region of $43M.

A few months prior to Hurricane Irma, the government was unable to provide a timeline as to when they will present a proposed plan to the people of West End for the new ferry terminal. Further, no funding was identified for the $3M project.

After the September storms, international architectural firm, OBM International (OBMI) offered the government to design the reconstruction of the West End Ferry Terminal, free of cost.
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