Citing a potential negative impact on the quality of life of Virgin Islanders, the Board of the West Indian Company Ltd. (WICO) has suspended its plans for a new cruise ship pier in downtown St. Thomas.

According to a company statement, Chairman of the WICO board, Randolph Knight, reported that the body "contemplated this decision intensely and at the heart of our decision to suspend the Long Bay Landing Project, is the potential negative impact this project could have on the quality of life of Virgin Islanders as well as the visitor experience given the proposed location."

The WICO Board felt they had limited information on the full environmental impact of the project and saw potential challenges arising from the added congestion on a key artery of the downtown area.

Board members were also concerned about the potential adverse impact on the natural beauty of the Charlotte Amalie Harbor as well as the fact that the proposed Long Bay Landing was not aligned with the already conceived $150-plus million Charlotte Amalie Revitalization and Veterans Drive Design projects.

Knight pledged that members of the board and the executive staff "will work diligently and expeditiously with the Virgin Islands Port Authority, members of the legislature, our community and our cruise partners to identify a more feasible location for this much needed new pier."