Puerto Rico Highway 53 Tunnels

Puerto Rico Highway 53 Tunnels


Maunabo and Yabucoa, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

PR-53 is a new four-lane highway that traverses the southeast coast of Puerto Rico. The highway passes through mountainous terrain. In order to avoid impacts to the scenic coastline, the route required two major sets of twin highway tunnels. The large diameter tunnels were constructed through hard rock including igneous tonalite and metavolcanics.

Deere & Ault personnel provided initial geologic mapping to guide route selection. Subsequently, Deere & Ault personnel provided detailed geologic mapping, oversaw horizontal drilling and laboratory testing, and the geotechnical analysis. Deere & Ault prepared the geotechnical baseline report for the project, provided design review, and assisted in the analysis of the project bids.


Portal with drainage flows.

The tunnels, up to approximately 2,000 feet long and 24-feet in finished diameter, were constructed by drill and blast method using steel ribs and shotcrete for initial support.

Deere & Ault provided engineering consultation during construction, reviewing the contractor’s support analysis, and reviewing the contractor’s value engineering proposals.

Client:  Barrett, Hale and Alamo
San Juan, Puerto Rico

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