Turpentine Run CAP Conversion project

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The project purpose is to reduce flood damages in the Nadir Residential area of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI).  The current study will review the approved project and validate the path forward to implement the project.  The non-Federal sponsor (NFS) is the USVI Department of Public Works. 

The Turpentine Run was initially authorized under the Continuing Authorities Program (CAP), Section 205 of the Flood Control Act of 1948, Public Law 80-858, as amended. The current government estimate is above the statutory CAP budget limits. The project is now being planned under the Authority of Section 209 of the Flood Control Act of 1966, Public Law 89-789, authorizing studies for flood control in the United States and its territories. 

The Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2018 (Public Law 115-123), authorizes the Government to conduct the study at full federal expense.


Map of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands with a rectangle for the location of the project.

The Turpentine Run is located about four miles southeast of the city of Charlotte Amalie, on the southeastern end of St. Thomas.  Adjacent to the Nadir residential area there is an existing concrete channel, which carries Turpentine Run past the developed area.  The capacity of this channel is insufficient to carry flood flows, thereby causing flooding in the development areas adjacent to the channel.  In addition to monetary damage, the nature of the flooding creates a substantial and significant threat to the safety of the area’s residents.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District (Corps), proposes to construct a 260 foot long levee along the northern edge of the Nadir community.

A 170 foot long sheet pile wall constructed along the developed western side of the channel.

A drop structure and a new “U” shape concrete channel, of approximately 460 feet, which will transition to a trapezoidal, earthen channel lined with rip rap for 1,385 feet.

A 1,300 foot long levee south of the new Bovoni Rd Bridge & ending at the Nadir racetrack.

The proposed recreation features for the project include passive recreation facilities such as a nature walk on top of the levee, picnic facilities, and parking. Walkways, benches, and interpretive signage for the nature trail would be incorporated on the earthen levee.


Work associated with the project construction includes:

  • Creation of recreational areas (greenways) along the canal
  • Documentation of historical properties and associated mitigation
  • Utility relocation

Project First Costs are estimated at $43.66M, with a Benefit Cost Ratio of 1.15 at 2.75%


Graphical representation of the Project Schedule

  • April to November 2019 - Environmental Assessment
  • May 2020 - Chief's Report
  • 2022 (Approximately two years after Chief's Report) - Final Design
  • TBD - Construction: Funding for the project is 100% federal and is subject to the availability of funds.

Measures will be implemented to protect the Virgin Islands Tree Boa during construction.  The Jacksonville District is coordinating a programmatic agreement with U.S. Virgin Islands State Historic Preservation Officer, and a phased evaluation of historic properties will be conducted during Final Design.