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Puerto Rico gov’t announces $776M investment in 23 infrastructure projects

The Puerto Rico government unveiled a list of 23 infrastructure projects islandwide to be financed with $776 million from the Infrastructure Mitigation Program-Competitive (INFRA-MIT). The initiative will cover areas crucial to the island’s well-being such as flood control, telecommunications, waste management, and maritime and air transportation.

“From hurricanes Irma and María to the earthquakes that affected our island, we’ve prioritized providing new resilience to reconstruction works that allow the vital infrastructure of our island to withstand the onslaught of potential future disasters,” Gov. Pedro Pierluisi stated at a news conference.

To that end, as part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Infrastructure Mitigation Program, or INFRA-MIT, the local government has set aside slightly more than $1 billion of mitigation funding for “projects that strengthen the critical facilities of our island and at the same time promote the mitigation of climatic, seismic and deterioration threats to our infrastructure and the ability to provide services to citizens, particularly to our vulnerable populations,” Pierluisi explained.

With a total projected cost surpassing $900 million, the INFRA-MIT allocation is slightly above $776 million, the governor said.

“Most of the projects are in the planning stage and six of them already have their designs practically completed. Among the next steps to follow, the entities will have a series of meetings with the Department of Housing in which they will receive technical help to comply with state and federal regulations that will formalize the subsidy to be granted,” Pierluisi added.

Each project is required to comply with one or more of the seven community lifelines, which include security, hazardous materials, energy, food, water and shelter, health and medicine, communications, and transportation.

After a federal compliance assessment, 23 projects from various municipalities, government entities and nonprofits were preliminarily selected.

Among those chosen, Aguadilla, Barceloneta, Canóvanas, Ceiba, Coamo, Dorado, Isabela, Juana Díaz, Lajas, Maunabo, Moca, Toa Baja, Utuado, Vega Alta and Yabucoa are slated for infrastructure upgrades in the form of flood control projects, improvements to the telecommunications system, redundancy and resilience of public services, recycling and solid waste management, transportation, security, and protection.

The Puerto Rico Ports Authority, the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP, in Spanish), the Office of Management and Budget, and the Puerto Rico Aqueducts & Sewer Authority (AAA, in Spanish), were chosen with projects for transportation lines, flood control in roads, telecommunications of critical services and security.

Additionally, two nongovernmental organizations, MedCentro and the Menonita Hospital in Aibonito, will have projects focusing on access to health services.

The municipalities will receive $382.2 million for their projects, government agencies $318 million and nongovernmental organizations $76 million. Coordination meetings will be held with the selected entities to ensure compliance and proceed with the formalization of the Subsidy Agreements.

The Housing Department will also provide assistance and training for managing the CDBG-MIT funds, underscoring transparency and effectiveness in the execution of each project. (See slideshow below for details.)

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

1 Comment

  1. Miriam March 28, 2024

    We better see the changes!! Money usually vaporizes in useless initiatives that have little impact in our “general population” lives.


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