The Infrastructure Financing Authority will begin construction this year of about 20 projects, representing an investment of $292.6 million and the creation of 3,504 jobs in Puerto Rico, agency Executive Director Grace Santana said Tuesday.
During a news conference with members of the Association of General Contractors, Santana said the project pipeline “promises a major boost to the island’s construction industry and the economy.”
The investment figure is broken down into projects for several sectors, including $50.7 million in education, $54.5 million in tourism, $181.4 million in health, and $6 million in environment.
“Some of these projects are in the planning stages, others are in the bidding process and another group has already been awarded,” Santana said. “The important thing to emphasize is that all start construction this year.”
Of the total projected investment, $123.3 million will be doled out this year, with the expectation of creating 1,480 jobs, she said.
“The boost the Puerto Rican economy needs in the short term, is already underway,” Santana said.
Among the projects that will break ground this year are the Segunda Unidad El Pino School in Villalba, with an investment of $14.5 million, the Comprehensive Cancer Center, whose investment reaches $131 million and the San Juan promenade, at $28 million.
Meanwhile, projects already in the construction phase are the expansion of the Medical Services Administration’s outpatient clinics, at a cost of $7.4 million, which constitutes one of the García-Padilla administration’s priority projects to improve the quality of life of patients and families who seek health services in the island’s main public hospital.
Santana also noted the adjustments effected last year to cut the processing times for payment certification and change orders, which has resulted in agility and efficiency for the agency.
“The changes have resulted in streamlining payments to contractors, spurring economic development,” she said.