Last week, Governor Alejandro García Padilla announced the construction of the Malecón de Salinas, a pier/boardwalk project in the municipality of La Playa in Salinas, Puerto Rico. According to the governor (shown below with Salinas mayor Karilyn Bonilla) this project will receive an investment of $3.5 million, creating 31 jobs in the construction phase.
The Salinas Malecón will improve on the beauty of La Playa community [thanks Lisa, for introducing me to the area many years ago!] and will highlight the existing restaurants and other businesses in the area. The construction works include the demolition of abandoned structures and ruins, building two new plazas [squares], repairs of the Plaza Mirador del Caribe, and construction of two small parks, a raised dais to serve as a stage for performances, new sets of stairs and ramps to access the squares and beach, and new kiosks for concession stands.
García Padilla said that the Salinas area is very close to his heart and that “It is a pleasure for me to return to Salinas today, this time to give a formal launch of a revitalizing process of a space that is crucial to the economic development of this town.” He continued, “The pier, located in the La Playa community, is the main tourist attraction of this city. This community is known for its restaurants, marina, and inns; therefore, it receives tourists from Puerto Rico and abroad.”
Luckily, the project includes stations for recycling solid waste, a telecommunications infrastructure, improvements to green areas and landscaping, wheel-chair accessible sidewalks, improvements to street paving, improvements to water systems and sewage, as well as the installation of new benches, lights, restrooms, and spaces for bicycles.
This project has a strong educational component; the students of the School of Architecture of the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico developed the conceptual design of the seawall and squares, in collaboration with the Tourism Company of Puerto Rico. Thus, this project became an important workshop for these architecture students to practice their skills.
According to the El Nuevo Día and WAPA/TV articles [see links below], for the La Playa community in Salinas, this is an extraordinary opportunity to strengthen economic development and job creation. Local merchants and the rest of the community “will complete this project through their ingenuity, hard work, and entrepreneurship.” The Tourism Company of Puerto Rico, along with the Office of Special Communities, is working on a community-based economic development plan. The first phase of the plan involves strengthening existing businesses; while the next phase will seek to identify new entrepreneurs and help them develop their businesses.
For full articles (in Spanish), see http://www.wapa.tv/noticias/locales/inicia-construccion-del-malecon-de-salinas_20131122247627.html and http://www.elnuevodia.com/gobernadorentregatitulosdepropiedadensalinas-1891046.html
Listen to related radio segment at http://www.foronoticioso.com/fn/?p=16614
[Photo of the Salinas Marina taken by Christian Allaire (Capt Chris); see his sailing blog at http://www.sailblogs.com/member/svchrista/?xjMsgID=51795]