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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Repaving of runways at Culebra airport to necessitate closures starting today


Benjamín Rivera Noriega Airport in Culebra


By JOHN McPHAUL

jpmcphaul@gmail.com


In order to accelerate the repaving of Runway 13-31 and the Alfa runway at Benjamín Rivera Noriega Airport in Culebra, the Puerto Rico Ports Authority has authorized the contractor Desarrolladora J.A. to establish temporary runway closures, which will begin this afternoon and will be scheduled until Oct. 25, Ports Authority Executive Director Joel A. Pizá Batiz announced Monday.


“After several meetings between airlines, contractors, developers and staff from the Department of Health and the [Ports] Authority’s Division of Planning, Engineering and Construction, we decided to establish runway closures for continuous 36-hour periods, which will impact a day of regular airport operations, to accelerate runway reconstruction work,” Pizá Batiz said. “Runway closures will begin at 4 p.m. on June 27, 2023 and continue until 6 a.m. on June 29, 2023 to facilitate the completion of the project by December 2023. This is the first time, in almost 30 years, that a large-scale rehabilitation has been carried out, an action that will benefit, mainly, the residents who make use of these facilities, as well as the economic activity of that island municipality because of the airline and tourism industry.


The ports chief added that the runway in Culebra was in poor condition after decades of neglect.


Senate candidate wants to see mayors included in boards for ports, regional airports


Javier Molina Pagán, an educator from Utuado and New Progressive Party candidate for senator for the Ponce District, said that if elected he would propose to incorporate mayors in decision-making and in boards of directors, in this case, those of the port and airport in Ponce.

Molina Pagán noted that the Ponce airport and port are governed by different laws. In neither case, he added, does the board of directors of those facilities include the mayor.


“The [mayor] is the one who knows the needs of the people, so we have to start legislating laws to incorporate this important figure in decision-making, and we as legislators will continue to be the helping hand to introduce all kinds of legislation that can brings some kind of alliance both for what is the development of the airport and the port, in order to create a land transportation system that we can use at the same time for the complete development of the south and mountain [regions],” Molina Pagán said.


The Ponce District, the largest of the Senate districts, is composed of 15 municipalities: Adjuntas, Ciales, Guánica, Guayanilla, Jayuya, Juana Díaz, Lajas, Lares, Las Marías, Maricao, Peñuelas, Ponce, Sabana Grande, Utuado and Yauco.

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