By Nicole Froio, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The extreme sport lovers in Rio will be excited to know that a new recreational area will be built around Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas (known as the Lagoa) dedicated to skateboarding, BMX biking, climbing and other activities. Announced in early 2012, the demolition and development of the space began yesterday, December 28th.
The area will be called Parque Radical da Lagoa (Radical Park of Lagoon) and will consist of resources like two skate ramps, one bike ramp, three climbing walls, a 200 meter-long zip line and an arena for concerts and shows.
The 18,000 square meter expanse was previously the home of Estação do Corpo (Body Station), a private gym on the Lagoa in the affluent area of Zona Sul (South Zone).
The ownership was transferred to the city, allowing plans for the innovative park to be drawn up, with an estimated cost of R$20 million. Demolition of the existing structures in the area started on the afternoon of Friday, December 28th, with previsions of it being ready in March of 2013.
Municipal Secretary of Conservation Marcus Belchior told O Globo: “The Radical Park is meant to complement the sporting spirit that already exists around Lagoa. During the building of it, so that there is no visual pollution, we will only remove the walls around it at the end of the project.”
Though many residents of Lagoa seem to approve of the park, there are still understandable fears that the construction will go the same way as Cidade da Música, now dubbed Cidade das Artes, in Barra. The structure, which started being built in 2002, was supposed to be inaugurated in 2004, but it is still being built to this day while its original budget of R$86 million has grown to around R$515 million in over ten years of construction.
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