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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 69-11
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel: 202-366-0660

Federal Highway Administrator Joins Puerto Rico Governor for Inauguration of Dos Hermanos Bridge in San Juan

Also Announces $10 Million Grant for Caparra Interchange Project

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez joined officials in Puerto Rico today to inaugurate the Dos Hermanos Bridge that links Old San Juan to other sections of the city. Mendez also announced a $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant for the Caparra Interchange Reconstruction Project in Guaynabo.

The project will rehabilitate one of the most heavily used interchanges in Puerto Rico and make significant improvements to road and pedestrian infrastructure.

"There are steps we can take right now to put people back to work," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. "One of these steps is getting job-creating projects funded and under way more quickly -- which is exactly what we're doing right here, right now, with our TIGER program."

Mendez is in Puerto Rico to join Governor Luis Fortuño in inaugurating the Dos Hermanos Bridge, which strategically connects the sectors of Condado, Miramar, and the Old San Juan historic district and carries ten thousand vehicles each day.

"This is a perfect example of why we need to put federal dollars to work to improve infrastructure and create jobs now," Administrator Mendez said. "Roads and bridges are the backbone of a healthy economy, and when they are neglected, our economy suffers as well."

The previous bridge was heavily damaged due to the harsh marine environment that corroded the steel. The new bridge was developed with concrete that is designed to withstand San Juan's marine conditions.

The new bridge includes wide sidewalks with pedestrian railings and a new bicycle lane to improve safety.

At $44.7 million, including $38.3 million in federal highway dollars, the Dos Hermanos Bridge is the largest current federal-aid highway project in Puerto Rico.

The Caparra Interchange Reconstruction Project in Guaynabo is one of 46 transportation projects in 33 states and Puerto Rico that received a total of $511 million from the third round of the U.S. Department of Transportation's popular TIGER program announced by Secretary LaHood on Dec. 15, 2011. The announcement came months ahead of schedule, and allows communities to move forward with critical, job-creating infrastructure projects including road and bridge improvements; transit upgrades; freight, port and rail expansions; and new options for bicyclists and pedestrians.

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