Sep 30, 2020
The Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center was tasked with developing a long-range recovery plan for the damage caused in Puerto Rico by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. This report provides a comprehensive evaluation of the transportation sector and includes a description of prestorm transportation conditions; descriptions of damage and estimated costs to repair them; and 22 proposed courses of action across all transportation modes.
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Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017. The Federal Emergency Management Agency asked the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center to develop a long-range recovery plan for the damage to Puerto Rico, incorporating all of the sectors indicated in the National Disaster Recovery Framework. This report provides a comprehensive evaluation of the transportation sector. It includes a detailed description of prestorm conditions across surface, maritime, and air transportation; descriptions of the damage caused by the hurricanes, including physical damage and estimated costs to repair them; and a list of proposed courses of action selected by the government of Puerto Rico. Before the hurricanes, transportation in Puerto Rico was marked by roads and bridges in only fair condition, a public transportation system with low service provision and declining ridership, a high reliance on one seaport and one airport, declining cargo movements, and significant fiscal solvency concerns. The hurricanes produced widespread damage to the transportation sector, totaling an estimated $1.8 billion in repair costs and another $1.1 billion in recommended resilience upgrades. The recovery plan proposes 22 courses of action across all transportation modes, divided between repair and maintenance (such as new design standards for roads and bridges, and a "fix it first" policy); upgrades (such as an upgraded airport in the western half of the main island and enhancements to increase port resilience); new capacity (three highway projects and two transit corridors); and planning, policy, and management (such as intelligent transportation systems and consolidation of port ownership).
Background, Methods, and Data
Damage Assessment: Surface Transportation
Damage Assessment: Maritime Transportation
Damage Assessment: Air Transportation
Recovery and Economic Development Needs
The Strategy for Recovery in Puerto Rico's Transportation Sector
Conclusions and Policy Implications
Courses of Action
HSOAC is a federally funded research and development center operated by the RAND Corporation under contract with DHS.