On March 6, 2019, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) was awarding $27 million in grants to the Virgin Islands Port Authority of St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., to expand and improve two major airports in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. According to grantee estimates, the projects are expected to help retain 179 jobs, create up to 158 jobs, and generate $6.1 million in private investment.
“Our ports are the gateway to our economy, and these grants will assist our Virgin Islands Port Authority in its efforts to rebuild, expand and modernize both the Cyril King and Henry E Rohlsen Airports,” said Governor Bryan. “While this project is important to our economy, it is more important to the residents of St. Croix and St. Thomas. This funding will create jobs and generate millions in private investment."
$20 million was provided to construct a Parking and Transportation Center (PTC) at the Cyril E. King Airport on the island of St. Thomas, which will improve transit access capacity to shorten the time required for the transport of people and goods.
The other $7 million was awarded to renovate and expand over 6,500 square feet inside the Henry E. Rohslen Airport on the island of St. Croix, improving this essential transportation structure’s ability to withstand future powerful tropical weather.