The funds are part of around $4.1 billion from FEMA to repair the island's water infrastructure following Hurricane Maria
San Juan, Puerto Rico –The sanitary trunk main that serves the communities of Vistamar, Los Angeles and Loíza Pueblo, in Carolina and Loíza, respectively, is already in the construction stages following an allocation of about $8.2 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This system, essential for transporting wastewater, will be rebuilt with an innovative system that will provide a useful life of at least 50 years to the pipes that carry wastewater to the treatment plants.
“The reconstruction of this sanitary system will have a positive impact in the quality of life of the thousands of residents and business owners in the area, who will be able to count on the potable water they need and deserve. This is one of the most comprehensive projects that PRASA, COR3 and FEMA have together, which optimizes our sanitary sewer system while helping protect our natural resources and mitigating future damage”, said the Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro R. Pierluisi.
The work will benefit an estimated 12,000 customers of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA), who will have a renovated system that will be able to withstand future atmospheric events. The restoration will be done with a non-invasive method that will avoid excavations in the adjacent communities. CIPP is one of the reconstruction practices already approved for these structures under FEMA's Accelerated Award Strategy (FAASt). To date, the agency has obligated close to $1.2 billion for 44 aqueduct and sewer subprojects thanks to this methodology.
"Within the framework of International Water Day, where the importance of this vital resource is recognized, we see how these works contribute to an adequate and efficient use of water, with optimal materials that guarantee long-lasting productivity. The residents of the area will benefit from a robust system, even in the face of future events such as Hurricane María," said the federal disaster recovery coordinator, José G. Baquero.
For her part, PRASA Executive Director Doriel Pagán Crespo said the project is 20 percent complete and that work is expected to be finished by the third quarter of this year. There are about four kilometers of pipeline that will be built according to the new construction codes and with future emergencies in mind.
“There has been a synchronization, a teamwork, that at the end of the day helps to accelerate projects like these that are for the benefit of our infrastructure and all our customers. To the extent that we have a much more resilient sanitary infrastructure, we greatly reduce the possibility of sanitary overflows, and this has a beneficial impact on the environment,” said Pagán Crespo.
“This project demonstrates how the Working Capital Advance (WCA) pilot program drives the development of reconstruction works. To begin execution of the project, which will improve PRASA's service to more than 15,000 families, COR3 advanced $2 million corresponding to the first WCA request for 25 percent of the total FEMA obligation. Meanwhile, some 48 permanent works are underway through other WCA advances totaling approximately $204 million. At COR3, we continue to work as a team with PRASA to assist them with the necessary procedures until all their projects are completed,” said Manuel A. Laboy Rivera, Executive Director of the Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency.
Currently, the public corporation has completed 53 projects estimated at $93 million.
To date, FEMA has allocated over $29 billion in Public Assistance program funds to help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria.
For more information about Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane María, visit fema.gov/disaster/4339 y recovery.pr. Follow us on social media at Facebook.com/FEMAPuertoRico, Facebook.com/COR3pr and Twitter @COR3pr.