The Puerto Rico Ports Authority (PA) began permanent repair work on the roof of the Antonio Rivera Rodríguez regional airport terminal in Vieques today, announced the agency's executive director, Joel Pizá Batiz.
The airport, the only one in Vieques, connects the municipal island through commercial flights with the municipalities of Ceiba, Carolina, and San Juan, as well as other Caribbean islands.
“During the passage of Hurricane Maria, in September 2017, the airport suffered severe damage, such as the rupture of most of the metal panels and insulation material, drainage ducts and the detachment of the roof waterproofing system, allowing the entry of water into the passenger terminal," Pizá Batiz said.
Despite implementing temporary repairs that allowed the facility to be used, the official noted that the current condition at the Vieques airport terminal is complicated due to water penetration at the second floor.
“Regional airlines have been affected by this situation, having to move their counters in a disorganized way towards the first floor, causing in turn poor service to the local passenger and tourists. Therefore, we needed a solution that was permanent, durable and resilient," he added.
Recently the PA managed to finish the study and design process and awarded an auction for $1,850,000 to carry out a total and permanent repair of the terminal's roof. The work is expected to be completed in roughly six months.
As detailed by Pizá Batiz, the PA worked the entire damage definition and cost estimation process with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), with the assistance of the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency (COR3), so that the project be eligible for a 90 percent reimbursement under FEMA's public assistance program.
The project at hand consists of removing and replacing existing metal panels, repairing the roof surface, replacing drains, and installing a new waterproofing system throughout the roof, impacting an area of roughly 12 thousand square feet.