By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The construction cost for Rio’s new Metro (Subway) Line 4, will amount to R$8.5 billion (US$4 billion), seventy percent more than the R$5 billion (US$2.4 billion) first estimated, it has been announced. The Line 4 connecting Ipanema to Barra da Tijuca will now cost more than the four new BRT (Rapid Bus Transit) lines, which cost R$6 billion.
The figure was revealed by the government after two years of studies and reports into alternative routes and construction techniques. The project has been financed by state and national public funds and private capital.
The need for the inflated budget, according to officials and representatives from the Rio Barra Consortium, was due to the initial budget being based on a conceptual design, as well as different technical solutions to make the system more efficient and to allow for future expansions.
The Consortium has until June 2013 to select a manufacturer to produce the fifteen trains that will run on the new line. Along with nineteen new trains introduced in 2012 for Lines 1 and 2, this will double the lines’ present capacity to 66 trains.
Line 4 will run for ten miles (16km) between Zona Sul (South Zone) and Barra da Tijuca – home of the 2016 Olympics; work is expected to finish in December 2015, and the line open to the public in June 2016, two months before the start of the Games.
Construction of this line started in June 2010, and despite the obvious eventual benefits to those in Rio, the building of the line’s six new underground stations has proved a source of strain for local residents, mainly due to road diversions in place on some of Rio’s key routes. Once opened though the line will carry over 300,000 people a day and take some 2,000 vehicles off busy roads at peak times.
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