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FEMA Obligates Funds to Rescue Iconic Landmarks in Puerto Rico

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Release Date:
août 19, 2020

Over $360 million has been obligated to repair public buildings and parks, which include cultural and historic sites

GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico – In the last three years, FEMA obligated funds so that iconic structures with historic value in Puerto Rico can regain their luster. During this time, FEMA has obligated over $360 million to municipalities, the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture and the Office of Historic Preservation for repairs to public buildings and parks, which include hospitals, government offices, educational centers, and sports complexes, as well as several points of interest throughout the island.

This effort includes funds for the Guajataca Tunnel in Isabela, a project with great economic impact in its area since it attracts about 7,000 visitors a year. Given the complexity of the project repairs, FEMA allocated $47,000 to perform architectural and engineering studies to repair the tunnel permanently. Built in 1904, the tunnel connects the towns of Isabela and Quebradillas, and is a remnant of Puerto Rico's sugarcane era, when a railroad system spanned the island.

Similarly, a grant of about $22,000 was approved for the renowned Fortín Conde Mirasol in Vieques. The funds will be used to repair and replace the contents of the structure, which includes a collection of paper artwork containing silkscreen prints, maps and posters of activities and festivals held at the Fort. Also planned is the repair of a wagon wheel from the beginning of the last century that was used to move sugar cane and a wooden sculpture, as well as the replacement of 15 exhibit cases. 

“This first part of the two phases of assistance expected for Fortín Conde Mirasol paves the way for the recovery and improvements we need. We will follow-up on every step and support in this process to rescue this piece of historical and cultural heritage of Vieques and Puerto Rico,” said the Executive Director of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, Carlos Ruiz Cortés.

On the other hand, in the municipality of Rincón, funds were awarded for the Punta Higuero Lighthouse. Approximately $20,000 is designated for architectural and engineering design costs needed to repair the site. Once the technical studies are completed, plans will include the replacement of the wood deck, lighting fixtures, ceiling tiles and other repairs. Since 1993, the Lighthouse has included a passive park with a maritime museum, cafeteria, meeting areas and a

lookout point for whale watching and a view of Desecheo Island. It is currently run by the municipal administration and is visited by thousands of tourists every year.

To date, FEMA has obligated over $7.2 billion for costs related to hurricanes Irma and Maria, including projects to help rebuild infrastructure throughout Puerto Rico. Roughly 1,200 local staff are leading the recovery efforts and play a key role in moving recovery forward. The Agency is part of the transformation and the revival of the island, a process that is becoming more evident every day and that will benefit the island's residents and its future generations.

For more information on Puerto Rico's recovery from Hurricane María, visit fema.gov/disaster/4339 and recuperacion.pr. Follow us on our social networks at Facebook.com/FEMAPuertoRicoFacebook.com/COR3pr and on Twitter @COR3pr.

Photo of Fortín Conde Mirasol in Puerto Rico

 Vieques, Puerto Rico (August 18, 2020) -- A grant of about $22,000 was approved for the renowned Fortín Conde Mirasol in Vieques. The funds will be used to repair and replace the contents of the structure, which includes a collection of paper artwork containing silkscreen prints, maps and posters of activities and festivals held at the Fort. Also planned is the repair of a wagon wheel from the beginning of the last century that was used to move sugar cane and a wooden sculpture, as well as the replacement of 15 exhibit cases.

Photo of Punta Higuero Lighthouse in Puerto Rick

Rincón, Puerto Rico (August 17, 2020) -- Approximately $20,000 is designated for architectural and engineering design costs needed to repair the Punta Higuero Lighthouse in Rincón. Since 1993, the Lighthouse has included a passive park with a maritime museum, cafeteria, meeting areas and a lookout point for whale watching and a view of Desecheo

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