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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Pierluisi announces flood mitigation project in Aguas Buenas



FEMA approved the development of the first phase of a flood mitigation project on the La Charca Bridge in the La Mula neighborhood, Aguas Buenas.

By The Star Staff


Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro R. Pierluisi, Manuel A. Laboy Rivera, executive director of the Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience (COR3), and Aguas Buenas Mayor Karina Nieves Serrano announced Monday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved the development of the first phase of a flood mitigation project on the La Charca Bridge in the La Mula neighborhood.


The total investment, which amounts to $5 million, will be financed with federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) and state funds.


“The significant investment we are making in our infrastructure with federal and state funds is an investment in our future. We are talking about billions of dollars allocated to rebuild, repair,, and modernize our schools, health centers, roads, bridges, energy, water, and sewer systems. Each project we have undertaken adds to the work of reconstruction that strengthens us as a people so that we are ready to face future challenges or any atmospheric event. To these ends, today we announce the approval of FEMA funds so that the first phase of the La Charca Bridge flood mitigation project in the Mula neighborhood in Aguas Buenas can soon begin,” the governor said.


Pierluisi added that “this project, long-awaited by this community, consists of replacing the empty bridge located on the PR-174 highway and constructing a new bridge approximately 80 meters from the existing bridge. This new location has the purpose of placing it outside the flood area while improving access to the state highway. This construction will eliminate the problem of flood waters overtaking the road and bridge, preventing any adverse effect on traffic operations in this area. Likewise, workers will improve the geometry of the access points to the PR-174 highway, providing better traffic safety. Consequently, the project will have a positive impact on more than two thousand families living in the area near Barrio Mula,” said Pierluisi about the work that is expected to be completed in December 2026.


For his part, Laboy Rivera maintained that risk mitigation is vital in the reconstruction process of Puerto Rico. “Projects like this give resilience to the infrastructure and are key to safeguarding lives. I thank FEMA for the initial allocation of $514,284.23 to develop the first phase of this work, which includes the study, permit and design process. This procedure will eventually give way to the relocation of the bridge about 80 meters away from the area where the structure is currently located outside the flood zone. At COR3, we will continue to assist the municipality so that they can complete this important project for the people of Aguas Bones,” indicated the executive director of COR3.


The municipality, recognizing the urgency of this flood mitigation work, will begin the process established by FEMA to meet the requirements and achieve a second allocation of funds, which will lead to the replacement of the bridge and the reconstruction of the road in that area.


For the mayor of Aguas Buenas, this mitigation project “is a vital and important one for our town. After approximately 20 years in which promises were made, today we can affirm that we have delivered for our people in just two years of our administration. The more than two thousand families from Aguas Buenas that travel through the area will soon have a safe bridge, which will not be affected by atmospheric events and through which they will be able to travel until they reach their homes. This achievement is a testament to the resilience and determination of our community, and we are proud to have played a part in it.”


This project is part of an integrated risk mitigation plan to reduce the possibility of flooding in multi areas.

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