Puerto Rico gov’t announces $112 million for highway repairs
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and Transportation Secretary Carlos Contreras announced Thursday the allocation of $112 million in Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funds for 17 projects to repair roads and bridges in at least 14 municipalities.
The repairs will be carried out on several main roads, such as Luis A. Ferré (PR-52) and José de Diego toll roads, the Martínez Nadal express and PR-66. There will also be noise barriers constructedd in Bayamón and Toa Baja, and Bridge 3000 (Naranjito’s cable-stayed bridge) and bridge 547 over Quebrada Cruz in Toa Alta will be repaired.
The repairs should create some 2,500 jobs and the minimum wage for these projects is expected to be $8.25 an hour, as stated in Executive Order 26 of 2017. Bidding for the projects will take place between September and October, Contreras said.
This amount is only part of the funds managed by the Transportation & Public Works Department (DTOP by its Spanish initilas) secretary, who also heads the Highways and Transportation Authority (HTA). Contreras expects an additional $60 million at the end of the year for roadway improvements, as well as another $100 million in the first quarter of next year, all federal funds.
During this administration, the secretary projects that about $1 billion in federal funds could be received, Contreras said during a press conference in La Fortaleza for whicn included the adviser to governor in infrastructure matters, María Palou, was present.
“These efforts have been achieved through an effort that we started earlier this year with an aggressive design plan that allows us to maximize the use of federal funds in rebuilding roads that in turn will have an impact on the economy through the creation of more than 2,500 jobs,” the secretary said.
These projects were selected from the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and were part of the Long-Term Transportation Plan (LRTP).
The repairs will benefit Naranjito, Barranquitas, Bayamón, Carolina, Canóvanas, Guaynabo, Naguabo, Rio Grande, Salinas, San Juan, Santa Isabel, Toa Alta, Toa Baja and Yauco.