$10.6 million rehabilitation of Barbosa Park in San Juan begins
By The Star Staff
San Juan Mayor Miguel Romero Lugo announced Monday the start of work on million-dollar improvements to the historic Barbosa Park in Ocean Park with a total investment of $10.6 million.
“The iconic park is one of the busiest and most used by residents and tourists in San Juan,” the mayor said at a press conference and groundbreaking. “Its peculiar location so close to Ocean Park beach and its various areas to practice various sports, have made this place one of the most important in the Capital City. However, the park has been deteriorating for years due to lack of maintenance, followed by the direct impact of tidal waves, strong winds, rains, the onslaught of several hurricanes such as Irma, Maria and subsequent phenomena.”
In order for the project to be carried out in a safe and effective manner, work will be carried out concurrently in two phases of construction. Romero Lugo said the Municipality of San Juan has invested some $7 million of its funds to carry out the work and the rest of the funds come from FEMA ($2.4 million) and the insurance claimed after the passage of the 2017 hurricanes ($1.39 million).
The first phase includes improvements to the athletic track, administration building and municipal police headquarters, as well as the repair of the Dr. José Celso Barbosa Plaza, the administration building and the parking lot.
This entire first phase contains a total investment of $6.2 million. The estimated duration of the project is about 365 calendar days, with the possibility that it may be extended due to weather issues.
Meanwhile, the second phase will include the rehabilitation of the ballpark, basketball, tennis and volleyball courts, skating rink and children’s play area, as well as walking trails, benches and tables, parking and the tennis court administration office. It is estimated that this second phase of the project, with an investment of $4.3 million, will last some 455 calendar days (15 months).
The renovations at Barbosa Park are part of the work considered in the obligation of FEMA funds and other complementary funds for the proper use and enjoyment of the facilities for the benefit of the communities and users of the recreational facility.
Romero Lugo added that pets will also benefit from the project. “As part of the improvements to Barbosa Park and our commitment to address the needs of our residents with pets, a Dog Park area will be developed,” he said. “Pets are part of every family and given the large number of users who visit the park with their pets, we have decided to add an exclusive dedicated area.”
The pet park will become a reality with an investment of $29,400 that will include the installation of a trash station, benches, game stations and a security gate.
“The announced improvements will benefit not only the community of Ocean Park, residents of Lloréns Torres, Loíza Street, San Juan Moderno, Villa Palmeras, Chícharo, Seboruco, Pulguero, Playita, Punta Las Marías, but also all the communities of San Juan and citizens of Puerto Rico,” the mayor added.
Romero Lugo also noted that the large-scale project complements the million-dollar improvements that have already begun at Central Park in San Juan, as announced in June.