San Juan, PR – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved $1.62 million to the Puerto Rico Ports Authority for the rehabilitation of the Terminal Cargo Ramp in Culebra. The funds were made available under FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to enhance the resilience of the sole cargo ramp in the Island Municipality, which provides normal daily services, as well as during emergency situations.
“For years, when hurricanes and tropical storm events affected Culebra, the residents and visitors of the municipality remained isolated for days. This project assures the continuity of port services, for which most residents depend on for their daily routine. The services will continue without major interruptions during and after disaster events,” said FEMA’s Caribbean Area Division Director Alejandro De La Campa. “More than 1,800 Culebra residents will benefit from this mitigation measure, as well as thousands of tourists that visit the Island on a yearly basis.”
Past hurricanes and continuous wave action have deteriorated the concrete cargo platform at Bahía de Sardinas, in Culebra’s Dewey Ward. If the platform is left unattended, it may collapse eventually. Also, seawaters surrounding Culebra (up to three nautical miles) and its neighboring islands and cays are designated critical habitat for the green sea turtle. These elements were taken into consideration while choosing the structural mitigation measure to apply: improving the structure with the lowest impact on the adjacent ocean environment.
A project of this nature involves the structural evaluation of the terminal cargo ramp, its designing phase and the construction phase of the structure. The rehabilitation activities includes the partial demolition of the existing concrete platform, removal of the concrete debris outside the platform area, construction of a new concrete platform with new reinforcing steel, and concrete deposit with corrosion inhibitor additives. The total project cost is $2.16 million, with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico providing $542,269, which represents the 25% State share.
FEMA’s HMGP provides grants to States and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration, to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.
State officials interested in heading up such projects to mitigate public facilities may learn more about the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program by going online to FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Division section on the Federal Emergency Management website at http://www.fema.gov/fima/mitgrant.shtm.
FEMA News Desk: (787) 296-3554, (787) 296-3560
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.