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Ports Authority breaks ground on $12.8M reconstruction of Vieques airport

The Puerto Rico Ports Authority broke ground on the $12.8 million reconstruction work on the passenger terminal and other structures, including the runway, at the Antonio Rivera Rodríguez regional airport in Vieques, Executive Director Joel A. Pizá-Batiz announced.

“The main objective of the terminal project is to repair several structures, including the passenger terminal, which were severely affected after the passage of Hurricane María in 2017 and which prevent the optimal functioning of this important facility, and to improve the passenger experience,” Pizá-Batiz added.

Ports worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to define damages and cost estimates for the project, with the backup of the Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency (COR3) as to qualify for a 90% reimbursement under the federal agency’s Public Assistance program.

The pavement condition of the Vieques airport was evaluated and it was determined that it “needed attention,” he said. So, the agency moved ahead on the design and bid stages and recently awarded the contract to Desarrolladora JA to start the runway project, Pizá-Batiz said.

The project, which will cost $12.8 million, will consist of improvements to the pavement, and would include work on the asphalt surface, paint markings, drainage, and demolition of the Charlie runway. This project will generate 74 direct, indirect and induced jobs.

The runway project would also include rebuilding all visual navigation aid systems, airfield lighting, signaling signs, windsock, beacon, and a new concrete vault for current regulators with an emergency generator with its additional fuel tank.

Meanwhile, an early bid — awarded to Steel & Pipes — was held in mid-2020 to carry out the terminal reconstruction project. The work, however, was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cost of the improvements, should be completed in about six months, totals $1.8 million and will generate 21 direct, indirect and induced jobs.

This project includes replacing the roof and drainage system, doors and glass in the terminal building; the repair the roof membrane and drainage system in the Air Rescue building; replace the roof, doors and other works in the Vieques Air Link hangar; and repairs of details on the roof of the maintenance buildings and Café Isla Nena, among others.

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

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