The unnerving traffic snarls that take place on a daily basis at the junction where at least four major roads meet near the San Patricio Plaza mall in Guaynabo could be gone for good due to a $10 million assignment the U.S. Department of Transportation approved for significant infrastructure improvements.
The project is expected to ease driving conditions on the so-called Caparra Interchange System, one of the busiest routes in the San Juan metropolitan area, Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi announced Tuesday.
The Caparra Interchange System is where PR-20, Kennedy Avenue, Martínez Nadal Avenue, Roosevelt Avenue, and San Patricio Avenue meet just off the San Patricio Plaza shopping center in Guaynabo.
“This is one of the most important interchanges in Puerto Rico. Constructed in the 1960s, the system has seen a rapid increase in traffic volumes, which have exceeded its capacity, rendering it inefficient and unsafe,” Pierluisi said.
“The partnership formed between the Municipality of Guaynabo and state agencies will now be able to proceed with rehabilitation work in the area, making improvements to PR-2, PR-23 and PR-165, constructing new ramps, converting to roundabouts, and improving pedestrian facilities,” he said.
The $10 million allocation is the result of a grant proposal submitted during the third round of the federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, by a partnership consisting of the Municipality of Guaynabo and, among others, the Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and Public Works, the U.S. Army Base Fort Buchanan and the Grupo Intersección Caparra.
Pierluisi, who strongly backed the proposal, spoke personally to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood during the application process to advise him that neither Puerto Rico nor any other U.S. territory had received funding under the TIGER I or TIGER II programs, whereas every one of the 50 states had received funding during at least one of the two rounds.