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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Lawmaker running for mayor in Arecibo sounds alarm on coastal erosion

Part of the $35 million allocated for projects to mitigate the effects of coastal erosion is needed in the Arecibo community of Radioville, says Rep. José González Mercado.

By The Star Staff

Rep. José “Memo” González Mercado, a candidate for mayor of Arecibo, asked Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience of Puerto Rico (COR3) Executive Director Manuel Laboy Rivera on Thursday to expedite the disbursement of some $35 million allocated for projects to mitigate the effects of coastal erosion, including in the Arecibo community of Radioville.

The legislator also filed a resolution to order the Committee for the Development and Oversight of the Northwest Region in the island House of Representatives to investigate the status of the project to mitigate the effect of coastal erosion in the aforementioned community.

“The families who reside in the Radioville de Arecibo urbanization urgently need the development of a coastal erosion mitigation project,” González Mercado said. “We have been working on this issue for five years now. In 2022, COR3 finally began the process to receive proposals for this project, one of the most important in our municipality, at a cost of $34 million; however, work has not yet begun. We need agility now. There is no reason not to act.”

If the issue of erosion is not addressed, the lawmaker said, a new sanitary trunk developed and installed in the area five years ago could collapse due to the undermining of the land.

“It is common knowledge that residents of the Municipality of Arecibo have been impacted by the problem of coastal erosion,” he said. “The situation has evolved in such a way that it adversely affects the safety and quality of life of our citizens. An example of this was the dramatic case reported in the community of Radioville, where erosion impacted the storm drain system and its roads in 2019. It’s time to act now.”

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