The goal is to convert Toa Baja in the mecca of sports and recreational tourism.
For this, the mayor of the “Ciudad Llanera”, Bernardo “Betito” Marquezaims to develop several projects in three main facilities: the Llanero Sports Complex, the Punta Salinas spa and Isla de Cabras.
“At the Llanero Sports Complex, we are going to be renovating the Olympic pool, we are going to convert it into the Llanero Natatorium. “We are going to enable a recreational pool to provide physical and aquatic rehabilitation services, and we are going to have a ‘water polo’ (sports) pool.”he explained.
This project will involve an investment of $9 million in funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMAin English) and $2.9 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA, in English).
The idea, according to the municipal executive, is that people of all ages, with or without physical limitations, can take advantage of the space.
“Right now, what we have is nothing more than the Olympic pool, and people have a complaint against us, so we are going to make an investment to create a physical and aquatic rehabilitation center, using the pool itself. “We are going to give that natatorium a complete refocus in that area,” he mentioned.
Likewise, the mayor plans to create a “rehabilitation and healing” circuit, connecting all the facilities that comprise the Llanero Sports Complex: the athletic track, the swimming pool and eight fields.
“This is a large complex, what we are going to do is interconnect with sidewalks and roads. In the athletic track area, we are going to establish some ‘trails’ (sidewalks) with sidewalks. An open-air amphitheater is going to be built and we are going to connect with a pedestrian bridge the areas where the amphitheater will be and where the municipality’s museum is already located,” he said.
“We want the people of Toa Baja to be able to say that they have facilities that they have nothing to envy of anyone else. And, those who visit us can have fun, both young and old.”he added.
Jobs on the agenda
After completing, this year, the transfer of the operations of Isla de Cabras and the Punta Salinas spa to the municipality, following an agreement with the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DRNA), Marquez is directing several projects to attract visitors to both tourist attractions.
“As part of what socioeconomic development represents, We have made some municipal investments in the facilities of Goat Island and Punta Salinaswhere we have the Punta Salinas Forest, which is a spectacular lung in Toa Baja, and the spa, which is spectacular and has a lake inside the forest”said Marquez.
The initial investment in these facilities reaches $700 thousand, he detailed.
“We put our hope in solidifying those two national parks located in our town and I know they will help us,” he highlighted.
The work on Isla de Cabras has focused on the restoration of recreational areas, including gazebos. Meanwhile, in the Punta Salinas resort, the works have been focused on cleaning and improving sanitary areas.
“It was a three-mile spa that was only, perhaps, a half mile of operation. We took on the task of working with the cleaning of all that vegetative material and, little by little, the difference is being seen.”said.
In fact, Marquez projects enable the spa to host competitions in different disciplines sports.
“We are going to make an agreement, where Punta Salinas will be the headquarters of the aquatic sports of the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee. There, we have been holding competitions from the Department of Recreation and Sports, soccer, volleyball, beach tennis, open water, dualo and trialo,” he said.
The inauguration of the pedestrian bridge is near
On the other hand, it is projected that, By December of this year, the pedestrian bridge that will connect the Bayamon Linear Walk with Levittown.
“This parallel bridge (to the PR-165 highway) will go over Rio Hondo. When that bridge is connected, people from Levittown, Catano, Dorado and adjacent towns will be able to get to Levittown, leave their car and will be able to enter the Paseo Lineal de Bayamon from Toa Baja, either by bicycle, walking or running.” said the mayor.
In terms of quality of life, for our residents, it is going to be spectacular
The project, developed by the Highway and Transportation Authoritywith an approximate investment of $4.9 million in federal fundsmeasures approximately 5.6 meters wide by 145 meters long.
“In terms of quality of life, for our residents, it is going to be spectacular and, for visitors, it would represent a much closer access that would not have to go to Bayamon, to Cambija or to Santa Rosa, which is where people catch the bus. Paseo Lineal, but you take it from Toa Baja,” he said.