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  • The San Juan Daily Star

Justice chief: Naranjito bridge probe to be broad, time-consuming


The bridge on highway PR-5 in Naranjito was inaugurated on Oct. 24, 2008 and was built at a cost of $31.8 million.


By JOHN McPHAUL

jpmcphaul@gmail.com


Justice Secretary Domingo Emanuelli Hernández warned Wednesday that the scope of the investigation into the Naranjito cable suspension bridge will be broad and time-consuming.


“When this news comes up and the comptroller says that she is going to investigate the case, that she was going to communicate with Justice; in fact, she communicated on Thursday with the director of the Division of Comptroller Affairs here, [and] on Friday the next day I called her to put us in agreement and we are scheduled to meet this Friday, in this same office in this conference room, both the comptroller, a specialist they have, me, the prosecutor who is going to be working on this case and the director of [the] Highways [and Transportation Department] or the deputy director of Highways and any other person who should be present,” the Justice secretary said in response to questions from the press.


Emanuelli Hernández was also asked about the time that the investigation would take while shortening the time for the completion of outstanding payments on the construction of the cable suspension bridge.


“There is a payment of $300,000 and something,” he said. “What these people have to be doing there is to assert their rights so that these abuses do not happen again and if it is an abuse. We are trying. … Here there is going to be an investigation, this is about continuous damage because this is not damage that happened today, you can see different things. There is also possible criminal conduct. There are several situations.”


“You have to do an audit of that project as such, examine contracts, examine expert evidence on how the structure was designed, how it was built, whether or not there was agreement on the plans. This is a thing that takes a long time,” Emanuelli Hernández added.


The bridge on highway PR-5 was inaugurated on Oct. 24, 2008 and was built under contract by Las Piedras Construction, at a cost of $31.8 million. Last week El Nuevo Día revealed that the bridge was repaired in places using cardboard, and uncovered the poor condition of the structure, while only two lanes are being used.

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