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$540M allocated to expand PR-10 from Utuado to Adjuntas

With an investment of some $540 million from a Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) allocation, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi announced the expansion of Puerto Rico Highway 10 (PR-10), a road that runs from the municipality of Utuado to the town of Adjuntas.

At a news conference at the governor’s mansion, La Fortaleza, Housing Department Secretary William Rodríguez and Highways and Transportation Authority (HTA) Executive Director Edwin González signed an agreement to begin the expansion of the highway.

“This is another example in which we continue to put our words into action,” Pierluisi said. “This is a priority project for my government because it is important for our people.  My commitment in making this work a reality is unwavering, because our residents and merchants in that area deserve it.”

The project, the governor said, will benefit 1.3 million people and will generate approximately 9,720 jobs for residents living in the central area of the island.

Furthermore, some 5,400 direct jobs and 3,780 indirect jobs will be created, Pierluisi noted.

The governor added that funding for the project comes from the Infrastructure Mitigation Program run by the Housing Department, providing Puerto Rico with a significant opportunity to implement strategic projects that improve critical infrastructure.

González said the project should take about five years to build. The deadline for proposals for the construction of the highway is March 3, he noted.

Construction should kick off toward the end of August or “at the latest” in the month of September, Pierluisi said.

The work on the PR-10 highway from Utuado to Adjuntas will cover a stretch of approximately 7.6 kilometers that runs through 20 bridges and about 30 bodies of water along one of the steepest terrains on the island.

Meanwhile, Rodríguez said the construction of PR-10 is the first project approved for the island by the federal Department Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as result of the 2017 hurricanes.

“A project like this requires an extensive cost-benefit analysis that we managed to produce and that resulted in its approval, demonstrating the confidence federal agencies have in the government of Puerto Rico,” Rodríguez said.  

For her part, Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP in Spanish) Secretary Eileen Vélez said the “investment for the development of PR-10 is estimated at $552 million, of which $540.7 million comes from CDBG-MIT funds and the remaining $11.3 million comes from state funds.”

Meanwhile, González said the construction of PR-10 is “a priority project, both for the governor and for us at HTA.”

“That is why we are very pleased to from part of this agreement in which, for the first time at a national level, the federal Department of Housing, through the local Housing Department, is authorizing such a significant allocation for the construction of a public road,” González stressed.

“This north to south connection of the island, which has been in the works since the 1970s, represents a positive impact, not only for the residents of the municipalities through which it has access, but for the development of the island in general,” he added.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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