Government

Gov’t to open bids for $62.5M in construction projects

Grace Santana speaks before the Association of General Contractors annual convention. Grace Santana speaks before the Association of General Contractors annual convention.

In the next two months, the Puerto Rico Infrastructure Financing Authority (PRIFA) will open bids for construction projects totaling $62.5 million, agency Executive Director Grace Santana told members of the Association of General Contractors.

Bids for improvements to roads at Parcelas Martinez and demolitions in the Cangrejos community in the Municipality of Humacao are already underway, with an expected investment of $230,000.

Later this month, PRIFA will open the bidding process for school improvements totaling $62 million and a weatherproofing project for Special Communities housing for $300,000, she said.

“Since we began to work in PRIFA, our focus and effort has been to start more than 20 infrastructure projects representing $62 million of a total of $1.1 billion that we have on the agenda as part of the capital improvement program. This investment represents 13,945 new jobs to our economy,” Santana said.

Among the major projects already under construction is the expansion of the Río Piedras Medical Center Outpatient Clinic proposed by the Medical Services Administration, with an investment of $7.4 million, which she said represents one of Gov. Alejandro García-Padilla’s “priority projects” to improve the quality of life of patients and families at the island’s main public medical center.

“Other projects leads by PRIFA are the Comprehensive Cancer Center and the updating of the local Environmental Impact Statement for the extension of PR- 22 from Hatillo to Aguadilla,” she said.

“The commuter train between Caguas and San Juan is moving forward with the Desirability and Convenience Study as required by the Puerto Rico Public Private-Partnerships Law, as well as the maximum-security prisons for men and women,” said Santana who also heads the Public-Private Partnerships Authority.

The Puerto Rico Planning Board recently issued its economic outlook for this year and next, confirming that the construction industry — which has seen its share of trouble in the last seven years with hundreds of companies declaring bankruptcy — helps boost the economy and plays a key role in job creation and infrastructure development.

For Fiscal 2013 construction investment will reach $490 million, an increase of 1.8 percent over the prior year, and for FY 2014, it is expected to reach $514 million, representing an increase of 4.9 percent, she said, citing the study.

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