Builders, gov’t partner to revitalize infrastructure
The Puerto Rico Infrastructure Financing Authority (AFI, as it is known by its initials in Spanish) and the General Contractors Association signed two collaboration agreements Thursday during the trade group’s infrastructure forum.
The first agreement provides for technical support from the AGC for the development of the Northwest Corridor from Hatillo to Aguadilla and the second will work with the assessment of the needs of the Amphitheater project of the Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School in Toa Baja.
“The technical contribution of the professionals who make up the Association of General Contractors has served as the basis for the construction of emblematic projects in Puerto Rico throughout our history,” said AFI Executive Director Eduardo Rivera-Cruz.
“This time we have two projects that represent both ends of the development spectrum. The Northwest Corridor from Hatillo to Aguadilla is an extensive and complicated project that impacts several towns and thousands of families,” he said.
The Hatillo-Aguadilla Northwest Corridor project is a transportation project with an approximate extension of 48 kilometers that consists of the development of a route of the highway between the municipalities of Hatillo and Aguadilla. Its construction includes bridges, expansion of Highway PR-2, establishing access control to businesses and residences and other elements that seek to ultimately develop a fast and safe road.
AFI and AGC executives said among the benefits and objectives for the Corridor’s construction is:
- Relieve vehicle congestion in the corridor which will improve vehicle flow, reduce vehicle maintenance and fuel consumption costs, all to the benefit of the environment and public health by reducing air pollution;
- Reduce travel time by about 20 percent from Hatillo to Aguadilla;
- Increase safety by providing road improvements;
- Reduce operating and maintenance costs of the cars belonging to drivers who use the route; and,
- To promote the economic development of the northwest area in the short, medium and long term, speeding up the movement of people and materials.
“On the other hand, in Toa Baja the community benefited by this social project in the cultural, educational and entertainment areas,” Rivera-Cruz added.
Meanwhile, AGC President Francisco Díaz-Massó said during the event that “the AGC has been an agent of opportunities for the construction industry. We have supported initiatives that we believe are necessary to work toward the future. We are more than ready to start work, so that our industry continues to be the engine of economic development.”
“The availability of professionals in the construction sector to fill these projects — and many others during this four-year period — will help us to boost Puerto Rico’s recovery,” said AFI’s executive director.
AFI will assist companies in the planning and execution phases of the necessary specialized studies leading to the submission and approval of an Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act, as well as coordinate the development of the project through the Public Private Partnership model.
“The agreement signed today is to strengthen the contribution of AFI and the private sector in the development of infrastructure in Puerto Rico,” Rivera-Cruz said.