By George Powell, Contributing Reporter RIO JANEIRO, BRAZIL – At 11PM today (November 14th), a one kilometer stretch of the Avenida Rodrigues Alves that connects some of Rio’s busiest roads will be closed to traffic as part of the ongoing urban to revitalize Rio’s long neglected port area. The road will be closed between the Avenida Professor Pereira Reis and the Rua Silvino Montenegro and will be the first step in a series of road closures between now and 2016. The Porto Maravilha project is set to transform Rio’s long neglected port area, photo courtesy of Porto Maravilha/Prefeitura. According to CDURP, the Port Region Urban Development company managing the port project, the road closures are necessary in order to allow further demolition of the key perimetral highway, which was closed to traffic earlier this month and seen for a long time as a major contributing factor in the port’s steady decline. Authorities in Rio have warned that the partial closure of the Rodrigues Alves on Thursday could lead to even more considerable traffic delays and disruptions than those caused when the perimetral highway was closed on November 2nd but have made clear that it is an integral part of the R$8 billion Porto Maravilha regeneration project. The municipal secretary of transportation, Carlos Roberto Osorio, told O Globo news: “We had a shock wave with the closing of Perimeter and now we have a second wave, more challenging because it will be in an area with restrictions already.” Avenida Rodrigues Alves will be turned into the Via Expressa, a 5,950 meter extension that will link the embankment with Avenida Brasil and the Rio-Niterói Bridge with three lanes running in each direction and a 2,570 meter underground tunnel that is set to greatly increase mobility in the region. Read more (in Portuguese). The Rio Times Daily Update is a new feature we are offering to help keep you up-to-date with major news as it happens. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.