Puerto Rico Highway 53

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Puerto Rico Toll Roads markerPuerto Rico Primary Highway 53 marker

Highway 53
Dr. José Celso Barbosa Expressway
PR-53 highlighted in red; future segments in yellow
Route information
Maintained by Puerto Rico DTPW
Length59 mi[1] (95 km)
History1994 (1994) and Extended To Yabucoa in 2002 (Completion in 2017)[citation needed]
Major junctions
South end PR-52 in Salinas
North end PR-3 in Fajardo
Highway system

Puerto Rico Highway 53 or PR-53 (unsigned Interstate PR3) is a main tollway that is parallel to Puerto Rico Highway 3, which goes from Fajardo to Salinas. Some segments are still in planning, but when finished it will have about 59 miles (95 km) of length.[citation needed] Two tunnels, about 0.6 mi (1 km) long each, in the towns of Yabucoa and Maunabo were completed in October 2008 (2008-10). It will connect the cities of Fajardo, Ceiba, Naguabo, Humacao, Yabucoa, Maunabo, Patillas, Arroyo, Guayama and Salinas, thus bordering the entire eastern and southeastern coasts of Puerto Rico. Its northern terminus is at PR-3 and PR-194 in Fajardo, and its south terminus is at PR-52 in Salinas.

Toll Plazas[edit]

Location Toll Direction E-Z Pass
E-Z Pass
replenishment ('Cash')
Hucar $1.00 Westbount Yes check.svg Yes check.svg
Guayama $0.50 Eastbound Yes check.svg Yes check.svg
Ceiba $1.00 Westbound Yes check.svg Yes check.svg
Humacao Norte $1.00 Eastbound Yes check.svg Yes check.svg
Humacao Sur $1.00 Westbound Yes check.svg Yes check.svg


A typical stretch of the PR-53 freeway through Humacao, Puerto Rico with the El Yunque peak in the distance.

The highway consists of five toll plazas; these are at Ceiba Norte, Humacao Norte, Humacao Sur[2] (near Palmas del Mar), Guayama and Salinas.

All toll plazas have the Auto Expreso lanes.

Three phases of the tollway have been completed: the first one was from Salinas to Guayama, which is about 7.5 miles (12.1 km) long (milepost 83 to 95 km), the second from Fajardo to Yabucoa at 28 mi (45 km) (This includes an incomplete bridge in Yabucoa that does not fall into the high-speed highway classification in the interstate system as it is only one lane per direction and will require the addition of an additional bridge or constructing a bridge over the existing bridge, as it lies in a main corn and plantain field.) Recently 1.2 miles (1.9 km), between Yabucoa and Maunabo, includes the last tunnel, Vicente Morales, was opened in October 2008. The total constructed highway at this time is 34 miles (55 km), leaving nearly 25 miles (40 km) to be constructed in Yabucoa (including the other additional tunnel) and from Maunabo to Guayama which is the longest to-be-built segment. The lanes in the Yabucoa segments were divided by painted yellow lines and no-passing zone boards, but a concrete median barrier had to be installed because some cars still passed others going slower, resulting in deadly head-on collisions; illegal night races also had deadly consequences.

Southwestern terminus of PR-53 in Salinas, connecting with PR-52.

PR-53 is the tollway with the lowest traffic in Puerto Rico, and very few congestion jams have been reported. PR-53 does not enter highly populated towns (none of them are over 100,000; the largest are Fajardo, Humacao and Guayama) and is not close to increase its traffic due to the fact that most of the population in the east part of Puerto Rico live in the San Juan metro area, Caguas and Cayey, cities where PR-53 makes no appearance; and the main traffic in Humacao is mostly located on the PR-30 and PR-60 highways. The center/business area of Humacao is accessed via PR-30 and PR-60, not by PR-53. Because of this, PR-53 has no more than two lanes per direction in the constructed segments and will probably have no more than two lanes per direction in the entire length.

Maunabo Tunnels under construction, 2008

PR-53 is also prone to flooding in the areas near Naguabo and Fajardo: during heavy rains, it is sometimes closed to traffic.[citation needed] There are current proposals to convert PR-3 from Rio Grande to Fajardo into a freeway to provide a controlled-access route between PR-53's northern terminus and the second phase of PR-66.[citation needed] At the rate of construction, the entire PR-53 corridor might be completed within the next ten years.[citation needed] The first segment of PR-53 was opened in 1994. From Fajardo to Ceiba in 1994 And from Ceiba To Humacao In 1997 except between Exit 13 and 17 in Summer 2002

Exit list[edit]

PR-53 freeway overpass over PR-3 in Humacao at Exit 31.
Eastern terminus of the PR-30 freeway with the PR-53 interchange.
Fajardo00.0 PR-3 (PRI-3) / PR-194 – Fajardo, CarolinaNorth end of PR-53. Interstate PR3 continues northwestbound via PR-3 as an At-grade traffic lighted expressway.
2 PR-3 – Demajagua, Puerto Del ReyAccess to José Aponte de la Torre Airport
Ceiba5 PR-975 – Ceiba Norte, Ceiba Centro
6 PR-978 – Ceiba Sur, Roosevelt Roads
10 PR-3 – Roosevelt Roads, Aguas Claras
Naguabo13 PR-3 / PR-973 – Playa de Naguabo, El Duque, Mariana
17 PR-971 – Naguabo Este, El DuqueSouthbound exit only
18 PR-31 – Naguabo Centro
20 PR-970 – Naguabo Oeste, Maizales
22 PR-31 – Juncos, Rio BlancoSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
Humacao25 PR-927 – Anton Ruiz, Mambiche
31 PR-3 – Humacao Centro, Puerto Santiago, Junquito
33 PR-30 west – Humacao Centro, Humacao Oeste, Caguas, San Juan
35 PR-906 – Palmas Del Mar, CandeleroSouthbound exits signed  35A (north) and 35B (south)
Yabucoa39 PR-906 – Yabucoa, PlayaSouth end of 4 lanes Interstate Highway standards to 2 lanes divided freeway.
PR-901 / PR-9914 – Yabucoa, MaunaboCurrently as At-grade Three-way junction.
Diamond interchange & roundabout under construction for future extension.[3]
Temporary gap in PR-53
Maunabo PR-901 – Yabucoa, MaunaboAt-grade T junction
Vicente Morales Tunnel
PR-901 – Yabucoa, MaunaboAt-grade T junction
Temporary gap in PR-53
Patillas PR-3 – Patillas, MaunaboIncomplete Diamond interchange. Mainline stub exist for a future extension.
Patillas AirportAt-grade T junction, closed
PR-3 – Arroyo, PatillasAt-grade T junction
Temporary gap in PR-53
Guayama PR-7711 / PR-54 – Guayama, Arroyo, PatillasAt-grade intersection
835283 PR-7707
87 PR-713 – Villodas, Cimarrona
Salinas90 PR-706 – Aguirre
-- PR-52 (PRI-1) – Ponce, San JuanSouthwest end of PR-53
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and Public Works. "Datos de Transito 2000-2009" (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Humacao Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  3. ^ https://www.google.com.pr/maps/@18.0461115,-65.8482502,707m/data=!3m1!1e3

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata