Colonel Andrew Kelly, Commander and District Engineer of USACE Jacksonville District, and the Executive Director for Puerto Rico Ports Authority, Anthony O. Maceira Zayas, signed the partnership agreement last week to move forward to the design phase of the San Juan Harbor Navigation Improvements project.
According to USACE, the $54 million project will improve the harbor by deepening and widening the channels, accommodate existing and future vessel movement, resolve navigation restriction problems, and present opportunities for economic development.
Commenting the latest news, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares, said: “By widening the existing channels, this project will facilitate that bigger cruise and cargo ships to come in to the San Juan harbor, which is instrumental for Puerto Rico’s economy. This is critical, as it will allow to bring in larger quantities of Liquefied Natural Gas or LNG, thus continuing the implementation of energy-saving solutions for a more resilient Puerto Rico.”
“Through this project, cruise and cargo ships will also be able to enter and exit the harbor more efficiently, further increasing the safety of maritime operations throughout the entire San Juan bay,” Maceira Zayas added.
The design agreement will allow the district to begin the preconstruction, engineering and design phase of the project. The first construction contract is expected to be awarded in fiscal year 2021, subject to availability of funds, said USACE.
Federal funds for the design phase were provided in the 2019 Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, known as P.L. 115-244.