Caño Martín Peña PR (I)

May 2023


Caño Martín Peña​, PR
Construction (C)
Congressional District: Puerto Rico


This project was authorized by the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) 2007, Section 5127 (H.R.1495), as amended by Section 402(e) of WRDA of 2020, (P.L. 116-260). The Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement for the Caño Martín Peña Ecosystem Restoration Project was approved by the Assistant Secretary of the Army (CW) on 16 May 2016. The Martin Peña Canal is a tidal canal approximately 3.8 miles long connecting San Juan Bay and the San Jose Lagoon in metropolitan San Juan. The drainage area of the canal is about 2,500 acres. The first 2.0 miles, from San Juan Bay eastward to Munoz Rivera Avenue, were dredged in 1998 to 200 feet wide by 10 feet deep; to provide a navigation channel for an intermodal passenger transport service. Vertical king pile walls line both sides of the channel. Urban development has encroached into the remaining unimproved portion of the canal and untreated discharge of local household and industrial wastes have left the canal in very poor condition. The current Caño Martín Peña project, as per the WRDA 2007, Section 5127 authorization, consists of a 100 feet wide and 10 feet deep natural bottom channel with a weir under the Martín Peña, Tren Urbano, and Luis Muñoz Rivera bridges involving a 115 feet and 6.5 feet deep channel with riprap on side slopes and articulated concrete mats at the bottom for water velocity, erosion, and scour control; dredging approximately 638,000 cubic yards of mixed materials along 2.2 miles of the eastern Caño Martín Peña, construction of a vertical concrete-capped steel sheet pile wall with hydraulic connections to the surrounding lands, 19.92 acres of open water and 32.98 acres of wetland.


Estimated Total Cost $261,700,000
Estimated Federal Cost $163,800,000

     a. Regular Civil Works Funds (PED):

Allocation thru FY22 $3,749,000
Allocation for FY23 $0

      b. P.L. 117-58 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Supplemental:

Total Work Plan (Construction) $163,300,000
Allocation thru FY22 $4,000,000
Allocation for FY23 $0


Corporation of the Martin Pena Canal Project (ENLACE)
P. O. Box 41308 
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00940-0138

Puerto Rico Department of Natural and 
Environmental Resources (DNER)
P.O. Box 366147
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District executed a Design Agreement with the non-federal sponsor ENLACE in June 2016 to initiate the Pre-construction, Engineering, and Design (PED) Phase. Federal funds from the Investigations appropriation were provided in the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2016 (Division D of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, Public Law 114-113). The PED Phase was funded for the design of the first construction contract only, but changes needed in scope increased the costs of design and PED was put on hold waiting for additional funding in 2019. In the meantime, the total project cost was amended from $150M to $255.816M in WRDA 2020. Investigation funds were allocated under the FY22 Presidential Budget and design activities resumed in October 2021.

A Construction New Start to initiate the construction phase was granted and federal cost share ($163M) was fully funded under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) in 2022. The Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) and Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for hazardous substances was executed on 26 July 2022. The team reassessed the implementation strategy to include the following contracts: 

  • Contract 1, Vegetation Removal: Includes removal of approximately 40 acres of vegetation along the channel banks. Contract awarded on 30 Nov 22, total amount $3,383,630, expect completion 30 Jun 23
  • Solid Waste Removal Contract: Includes removal and disposal of approximately 12,000 CY (equivalent to 15,000 Tons) of debris, and solid waste along the project footprint.  This contract action is expected to be awarded by the end of May 2023, and expect completion by Sep 2023.  
  • Contract 2, Western Bridges scour protection: This contract includes excavation of approximately 22,000 cubic yards of material from the western end of the project and construction of a 115-foot-wide by 6.5-foot-deep channel located at western bridges: Martín Peña, Tren Urbano, and Luis Muñoz Rivera. Installation of riprap on channel slopes and articulated concrete mats on channel bottom to prevent scouring. Contract 2 design started in Aug 2022, intermediate plans and specs is currently under district reviews. Expected award Sep 2024
  • Contract 3, Channel excavation and stabilization: Includes excavation of approximately 190,000 cubic yards of material from the San Jose Lagoon; excavation of about 550,000 cubic yards of material from the channel; Barbosa Bridge scour protection; Installation of bulkhead/sheet pile along the channel; 35 acres of mangrove restoration for the entire channel; and recreation features. Contract 3 will be divided in 2 phases to consider the RE acquisition process. Phase 1 design will start in October 2023 and expected award date is Sep 2025. Phase 2 design will start in Nov 2025 and expected award date is in Dec 2027.

MAP- he Martin Peña Canal is a tidal canal approximately 3.8 miles long connecting San Juan Bay and the San Jose Lagoon in metropolitan San Juan.