Puerto Rico gov’t announces $652 million investment to fix roads
SAN JUAN — Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz and House Speaker Carlos Méndez announced Monday a $652 million investment over the next three years to repair and maintain the island’s roads.
The governor said the poor state of Puerto Rico’s roads “represented a great strain on the quality of life of residents and the ability to promote economic growth.”
The program will comprise three areas. The first will receive $80 million in local funds to repair the roads that are in the most critical conditions, or about 6 percent to 8 percent of the roads—in an effort whose results are expected to be evident in the next six months.
The remaining 92 percent to 94 percent will be addressed via a program of “high-quality” paving and repair of concrete slab sections.
The second phase of this investment requires a $250 million funding by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for the next three years.
Meanwhile, the third component will be a $75 million investment under the FHWA’s Capacity Analysis for Planning of Junctions (CAP-X) program, a separate amount in the government’s fiscal plan for infrastructure improvement. This item will have additional allocations in the coming years.
Transportation Secretary Carlos Contreras said there has “never been such an aggressive road maintenance system, in which you do not have to wait for [roads] to be in total deterioration in order to fix them. Gone are the times when by the time maintenance was going to be done, the road was already in such bad condition that, instead of repairing it, it had to be rebuilt.”