By Leo Byrne, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The private contractor in charge of the construction of the BRT Transoeste line, named Scenario, recently came under fire as potholes and cracks left the new bus lane unusable, just months after its inauguration.
The company claimed on Tuesday that the problems arose from their having to finish the work in June, two months ahead of schedule, at the request of the Rio government.
The reason for bringing the plans forward was to ensure that the BRT could be opened before last year’s election season, as Brazil’s Electoral Court does not allow such projects to be opened during that time.
Senario also pointed out that under such time constraints, the asphalt did not have time to properly settle and so quickly deteriorated.
“The asphalt is likely to give again because the city did not wait the time of settlement of the soil, which is six months, to start operation of the BRT,” accuses the president of Sanerio, Luis Carlos Matos in a O Globo report.
A bitter dispute quickly arose between the construction company and Rio’s Mayor Eduardo Paes, who placed the blame squarely on Senario. The Mayor said that different construction companies working on other parts of the BRT completed their projects within the proposed deadlines without sacrificing the quality of workmanship.
He added that the situation was currently being reviewed by the Secretary of Municipal Works, but that Senario would have to pay for all the costs associated with the reconstruction of the bus line.
The main concern is located near the Malto Alto station in Guaratiba, where a problem with the asphalt meant buses have to use normal traffic lanes. Repairs of some of the worst affected areas commenced on Friday and were reportedly completed on Tuesday.
According to Secretary of Conservation Marcos Belchior, there was a concern that heavy rainfall in the area might exacerbate the issue meaning the repairs had to be completed quickly. However he added that as a high speed lane the road needs to be re-dug, re-levelled and allowed time to settle.
The Transoeste BRT has already been the center of some controversy, with numerous fatal accidents occurring along the road since its inauguration.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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