• The Star Staff

FEMA assigns $9.5 million to DTOP for signage

By The Star Staff

The Federal Emergency Manage- ment Agency (FEMA) announced Wednesday an obligation of over $9.5 million to the Puerto Rico Depart- ment ofTransportation and Public Works (DTOP by its Spanish acronym).

The funds will be used to replace signs on 238 roads covering approxi- mately 496 miles in the Aguadilla, Arecibo and San Juan regions.

Some 890,000 residents comprising much of the northern and western re- gions of the island will benefit from the funds, which will help provide drivers with necessary road signage.

“With the obligation of these funds, we will continue to work aggressively on the installation of the more than 18,000 road signs damaged by Hurricane Maria,” said DTOP Secretary Carlos Contreras Aponte. “As we promised, through various programs, including ‘Abriendo Caminos,’ we have returned to the island a first-rate state road system that we should be proud of. We thank FEMA for this $9.5 million obligation, which brings the total assigned for theseprojects to $28 million.”

The funds will pay for signs and road markers in 93, 122 and 23 sec- tions of road in the regions of Aguadilla, Arecibo and San Juan, respectively. Repairs include removing and replacing aluminum road signs, steel posts and their concrete foundations as well as replacing aluminum plates with reflec- tive sheeting signs.

Arecibo Mayor Carlos Molina Ro- dríguez said he was pleased with the funding assignment. “Our roads have many needs, so we appreciate this allocation of funds, which is very helpful in improving con- ditions in the municipalities,” he said. FEMA works with Puerto Rico’s Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruc- tion and Resilience, through the federal agency’s Public Assistance program, to obligate recovery funds to private nonprofit organizations, municipalities and agencies of the commonwealth government for expenses related to hurricanes Irma and Maria. To date, nearly $6.9 billion has been awarded to Puerto Rico as part of FEMA’s Public Assistance program.

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