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By Jay Forte and Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporters

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – As the Rio 2016 Olympic Games loom closer, the anxiously awaited completion of the new Metro (subway) Line 4 is now 93 percent finished, according to authorities. Last Sunday, the State Secretary of Transportation, Rodrigo Vieira, took a group of sixty residents and civil engineering students on a tour of the new station, Nossa Senhora da Paz, in Ipanema.

State Transportation Secretary Vieira leads visitors into the new station, photo by Henrique Freire/IMPRENSA RJ.
State Transportation Secretary Vieira leads visitors into the new station, photo by Henrique Freire/IMPRENSA RJ.

They traveled the length of the station, from its entrance at Rua Joana Angélica, where passengers are greeted by various hand-painted tiles showing the history of Nossa Senhora da Paz Church and the surrounding neighborhood, to the exit at Rua Barão da Torre, where another panel of tiles form the image of the holy figure who is the station’s namesake.

For Secretary Vieira, these guided tours are a great way to introduce residents to Metro Line 4 and also encourage students in their professional studies, “This is an opportunity for neighboring residents to know the work that will change the shape of these neighborhoods. These people participated in the project from the beginning, and now we can see the work accomplished, and prepare to use the line.”

He added,”Moreover, this was an engineering challenge that will go down in history. Today, there were future civil engineers from Juiz de Fora, but we have received students from around the world interested in knowing the largest urban infrastructure project underway in Latin America.”

Alexandre Tabet Duarte, 25, who came from Juiz de Fora to Rio de Janeiro with a group of civil engineering students told the government news agency, “We had participated in a tour of the tunnel construction at the Sierra of Petrópolis, but the size of the Line 4 project is much greater in terms of infrastructure.” He added, “I have been trying since January to come here, and it was worth the wait.”

Group of sixty residents and students optimistic about the new station, photo by Henrique Freire/IMPRENSA RJ.
Group of sixty residents and students optimistic about the new station, photo by Henrique Freire/IMPRENSA RJ.

For more information or to arrange a visit to the Metro Line 4 project, call: 0800 021 0620 (Monday to Friday, from 8AM to 6PM) or visit one of the following Community Help Centers in Ipanema and Leblon:

Jardim de Alah (Av Epitácio Pessoa, corner of Rua Visconde de Pirajá); Antero de Quental (Praça Antero de Quental); Igarapava (Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva, in front of Praça Cazuza); Nossa Senhora da Paz (Praça Nossa Senhora da Paz, in front of Rua Visconde de Pirajá); Trailer at Rua Barão da Torre (next to Rua Vinícius de Moraes); Interactive Station (Avenida Epitácio Pessoa, in front of 365 Jardim de Alah).

Hampered by delays and increased costs, in December of 2015, Rio officials signaled the need for an additional R$1 billion by the federal government to complete the Line 4 Metro in time for the Olympics. By March, state officials confirmed it would open in July, the month before the mega event.

Officials say the Metro Line 4 will unite Rio, integrate regions and bring quality of life to thousands of people. The Rio de Janeiro state government’s project will transport more than 300,000 people a day, removing about 2,000 vehicles from the streets during peak rush hour.

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