Río Culebrinas – Aguadilla and Aguada, PR

May 2023


Río Culebrinas – Aguadilla and Aguada, PR
Construction (C)
Congressional District: Puerto Rico


The Río Culebrinas basin, located in the northwestern part of Puerto Rico, has an area of 272 square kilometers and flows westerly through the areas of San Sebastián, Moca, Aguadilla, and Aguada, where the river discharges into Aguadilla Bay in the Mona Passage. Large rainfall-driven peak discharges in the Río Culebrinas basin are generally associated with hurricanes, tropical depressions and tropical waves passing over or near Puerto Rico. During the flood season, floodwaters overtopping the Caño Madre Vieja tributary pose potential dangers to surrounding residents, are a source of damage to properties, and cause inundation of all major highways and roads in the Río Culebrinas floodplain. The Rio Culebrinas Flood Risk Management (FRM) Project will provide 100-year flood event protection to the southwest portions of the Municipality of Aguadilla and the community of Espinar in the Municipality of Aguada by reducing the flows from the Caño Madre Vieja drainage area. The project is estimated to benefit nearly 800 residential properties, approximately 100 commercial properties, and 24 public properties subject to flooding, including a police station, a U.S. Army Reserve station, a senior center, and the historic site Ermita de Espinar Church. The recommended plan for Rio Culebrinas FRM Project proposes to construct two segments of earthen levees (~2 miles), a cutoff channel (~200 ft), drainage structures, interior drainage channels, three (3) paved road ramps across the levees, a borrow area, and a wetland mitigation area approximately 11 acres in size. Refinements to the conceptual design will be conducted during the Pre-construction Engineering and Design (PED) phase.


Estimated Total Cost           $26,900,000
Estimated Federal Cost $18,300,000


a. P.L. 115-123: Bi-Partisan Budget Act of 2018, Supplemental:

Current Working Estimate       $400,000 
Allocation thru FY22     $400,000
Allocation for FY23 $0


b. P.L. 117-43: Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act:

Total Work Plan    $26,500,000
Estimated Federal Cost    $17,900,000
Allocation thru FY23 $17,626,000



Department of Transportation and Public Works
P.O. Box 41269 Minilias Station
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936


The Rio Culebrinas Chief’s Report was signed on August 2020 and was authorized for construction under Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) 2020 Section 401(2). The 2022 Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (DRSAA) is funding the project design and construction phases.

As part of the design efforts, the necessary engineering field surveys are being executed. Once this technical information is collected, an Hydrology and Hydraulic (H&H) study will be conducted using the latest rainfall data to validate the project design.

Click for full-sized map of Rio Anton Ruiz Restoration project.