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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

DTOP: Mayors should have eligible tenders ready for road repaving

Transportation and Public Works Secretary Eileen Vélez Vega

By The Star Staff

Transportation and Public Works (DTOP by its Spanish acronym) Secretary Eileen Vélez Vega said this week that mayors should have tenders ready for the resurfacing of roads after signing collaborative agreements with the agency.

Those tenders must comply with local and federal regulations and with DTOP specifications for certain funds to be released, the official said. Vélez Vega made her comments on Wednesday when Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia visited Maunabo to inspect completed rehabilitation and repaving work on highway PR-3.

“The [Maunabo] mayor already has eligible auctions in order to make collaborative agreements,” the DTOP secretary said. “In the case of Maunabo, we made a collaborative agreement with [highway PR-] 759; a million [dollars] more or less, and then now this was done with a contractor because we already had the contractors for the complete PR-3 and then their section was done with a DTOP contractor. You have to have an auction that meets state and federal requirements, and the DTOP work specifications, be it asphalt, scarification. Then the 50% advance with the approved work plan is passed to them. When they finish, the other 50% is paid.”

Regarding the municipalities that have yet to sign repaving agreements, Vélez Vega said “there are 72 municipalities that have already made repaving agreements with us, 78 [towns] have green area agreements, but with [repaving] agreements there are around 72 municipalities.”

“There are some that do not have open bidding, so we do everything with DTOP contractors,” she added. “It doesn’t prohibit them from having work, they just do it with the DTOP contractors.”

The governor reiterated that roadwork can be observed throughout the island, dismissing allegations about the poor condition of Puerto Rico’s highways.

“There is work all over Puerto Rico, that’s right. Here we are in Maunabo and this has been like a machine,” Pierluisi said. “It takes me from project to project; if it’s not a groundbreaking, it’s a ribbon cutting and on roads, well, the work is obvious. That is, it can be seen all over the island.”

“There is another type of reconstruction that is not visible,” the governor added. “For example, the treatment plants where any type of pipe is being fixed. Usually that is not seen, and the same thing happens with the electrical network, but work is also being done.”

Maunabo Mayor Ángel Omar Lafuente Amaro expressed satisfaction with the work carried out in his municipality.

“So far we are satisfied, it has been accomplished,” he said. “To answer the auction question, with our [contract] already awarded, we presented the documentation to DTOP, they evaluated it and gave us the go-ahead. Then, we proceeded to maintain both the green area and the resurfacing of the roads. Thanks to that million dollars, we have been able to restore three kilometers of (highways) 759 and 760, which as you can see in this area we have been able to pave for the enjoyment of both residents and those who visit us on weekends.”

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