Work on Dos Hermanos Bridge to begin in March
By : JOSE L. CARMONA/CARIBBEAN BUSINESS
Volume: 36 | No: 7
Page : 37
Issued : 02/21/2008
Project will go to bid later this month, with demolition and
construction work slated to start next month. The wait is finally
over. After three years of inactivity on the $25 million Dos
Hermanos Bridge in Condado, the project will go to bid later this
month with construction slated to begin in March.
The good news was confirmed Monday by Puerto Rico Highway &
Transportation Authority (HTA) Communications Director Irma
According to Mollero, HTA submitted the mitigation plan for
seagrass transplantation as well as a baseline assessment of the
seagrass at the mitigation site as requested by the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) conditioned permit in order to resume
demolition and construction work on the controversial structure (CB
According to the 12-page USACE Dec. 3, 2007 permit document
obtained by CARIBBEAN BUSINESS, the authorized work and demolition
of the existing bridge could not begin until HTA had submitted a
complete mitigation plan for seagrass transplantation as well as a
baseline assessment of the seagrass at the mitigation site and had
obtained approval from USACE.
USACE originally gave HTA a Jan. 17 deadline to submit the
mitigation plan and the seagrass baseline assessment, but HTA
requested a 45-day extension (March 3, 2008), which USACE granted.
“The Dos Hermanos Bridge project should go out to bid later this
month and construction work should begin in March,” Mollero
announced during a phone interview Monday.
Demolition work on the bridge was halted in 2005 after USACE
denied the renewal of the construction permit because of changes
in its original design and the discovery of coral colonies by the
National Marine Fisheries.
USACE’s original permit for work on the bridge built in 1980 dates
back to 1998. In 2002, a $21.4 million bid was awarded to Las
Piedras Construction for the demolition of the original structure
and construction of a new bridge. Construction work began in July
2003 and a temporary steel bridge was placed alongside the
original bridge in 2004.
When HTA requested the permit’s renewal in 2005, USACE requested
information since the proposed new bridge was redesigned. In
August 2005, the National Marine Fisheries stated work on the
bridge would adversely affect the coral colonies on one of the
The Dos Hermanos Bridge is the main thoroughfare between
Condado—San Juan’s main tourism sector—and the islet of Puerta de
Tierra / Old San Juan. Since the demolition of the bridge and the
placement of the temporary steel bridge, traffic between Condado
and Puerta de Tierra has been a nightmare for local residents and
tourists alike, not to mention an eyesore to the famous Condado