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Puerto Rico Ports Authority seeks federal funds for $26.4M dock repair

As part of a strategic plan to leverage federal grant opportunities and maximize resources, the Puerto Rico Ports Authority (APPR, in Spanish) submitted a proposal to the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity, or RAISE Discretionary Grant program, to repair Dock D in the port area of Puerto Nuevo, San Juan. 

The estimated cost of this project is about $26.4 million, of which $25 million would come from the requested federal grant, announced Ports Executive Director Joel Pizá-Batiz.

Pizá-Batiz explained that the dock’s repairs include a complete reconstruction of section D wharf of the container loading dock in Puerto Nuevo. 

“At the Ports Authority, we have remained vigilant to the federal grants opportunities that have arisen,” Pizá-Batiz said. “We have taken advantage of the availability of funds to facilitate the development of critical infrastructure projects, in line with Gov. Pedro Pierluisi’s priority to maximize federal funds for necessary improvements to the loading docks in the Puerto Nuevo area. We are hopeful that we will prevail in this process, as we have done on other occasions.”

The director thanked the team that worked on the proposal, stating, “Competitive grants are complex, as we compete with the 50 states and territories of the American nation for limited funds. Each federal funding grant obtained represents benefits for economic development, job creation and the commercial competitiveness of the Port of San Juan in cargo operations and the maritime industry.”

As reported by News is my Business, the Ports Authority announced in June that it was slated to receive $3 million from the RAISE discretionary grant program. The funds “are intended to support a feasibility study, environmental risk review and community involvement program aimed at improving Avenue C, the sole access roadway that services the eastern eight piers of the Puerto Nuevo Port Zone.”

RAISE discretionary grants help project sponsors at the state and local levels, including municipalities, tribal governments, counties and others complete critical freight and passenger transportation infrastructure projects. The eligibility requirements allow project sponsors to obtain funding for projects that may be harder to support through other U.S. Department of Transportation grant programs. The program helps communities carry out projects with significant local or regional impact. 

“Across the country, I have seen firsthand how projects funded by our RAISE program are helping communities realize long-held dreams and well-planned visions for better infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, we are delivering safer, cleaner infrastructure to communities of every size and in every part of the country, creating a new generation of jobs and helping families build generational wealth in the process.”

In 2023, RAISE funding supported 162 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands.

RAISE projects are “rigorously reviewed and evaluated on statutory criteria of safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, mobility and community connectivity, economic competitiveness and opportunity including tourism, state of good repair, partnership and collaboration, and innovation.” 

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