Governor Bryan Champions Innovative Strategy for Swift USVI Recovery with $15 Billion Plan



In his groundbreaking State of the Territory address, Governor Albert Bryan Jr. outlined a revolutionary approach to accelerate the U.S. Virgin Islands’ recovery from the devastating impacts of hurricanes Irma and Maria, nearly seven years ago. Governor Bryan emphasized the urgent need for a “paradigm shift” to address the challenges hindering disaster recovery efforts, including the shortage of contractors, workers, and housing. He expressed concern over the current pace of recovery, estimating it could take another 20 years to complete, which he firmly stated was unacceptable.

Governor Bryan introduced the “Rebuild USVI” initiative as a transformative solution to expedite the massive reconstruction efforts, estimated to cost over $15 billion. The governor’s strategic plan involves expending approximately a billion dollars annually in disaster recovery funds. A key feature of this strategy is the consolidation of top-priority recovery projects into “billion-dollar bundles” for procurement. This innovative approach aims to overcome obstacles such as the limited local workforce by attracting major contractors capable of securing substantial performance bonds for high-value projects, addressing logistical and supply chain challenges, and resolving workforce capacity issues.

Governor Bryan passionately described Rebuild USVI as a dynamic shift that propels the territory’s disaster recovery efforts by thinking creatively and reducing bureaucratic inefficiencies. He believes this initiative is crucial for the progress and resilience of the Virgin Islands.

Senator Milton Potter, Chair of the Committee on Disaster Recovery, Infrastructure, and Planning, expressed cautious optimism following the address. Acknowledging the potential in the details, he committed to a thorough examination of the initiative. The Senate’s Disaster Recovery Committee, yet to meet in 2024, plans to delve deeper into the details of Rebuild USVI and seeks to invite relevant officials for further discussion.

Governor Bryan remains steadfast in his conviction that Rebuild USVI is the key to transforming the Virgin Islands into a robust and resilient region, ready to face future challenges with strength and efficiency.

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