By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced a plan to invest R$13.5 billion in 310 different infrastructure projects, such as sewage systems and road paving. The investment will be part of the government’s growth acceleration program (PAC 2) and will benefit 1,198 municipalities across Brazil.

Brazil to Invest in Infrastructure, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
President Dilma Rousseff announced the billionaire infrastructure investment yesterday, photo by Antonio Cruz/ABr.

The measure was announced yesterday at a ceremony in the Planalto Palace in Brasília. Later Rousseff addressed the project through her Twitter feed, stressing the importance of introducing sewage systems to communities, adding that while they often are a “hidden measure,” they are “perhaps one of the greatest precautions that can be taken in the area of health, especially regarding infant mortality.”

Out of the R$13.5 billion investment, R$10.5 billion will be allocated to rainwater drainage systems, water supply networks and sewage systems.

“Sewage is not very nice in its appearance. It must be buried in the ground and be well treated and collected. [That’s why] in the last two years and ten months we already invested R$39 billion [in that area],” the President explained.

The rest of the budget will go into paving 7,500km of roads, improving existing roads and introducing bikeways, as well as building 15,000km of sidewalks, installing traffic signs, ramps and crosswalks.

Confúcio Moura, governor of Rondônia, one of Brazil’s poorest states, welcomed the announcement and stated that the investments will allow his state’s sewage treatment coverage to grow from two percent to sixty percent until 2014. “We are delighted by the bold investment program in the poorest states of the country,” Moura said.

The infrastructure investment is part of the pacts promoted by President Dilma Rousseff following the mass demonstrations that gripped Brazil in June and July. Inadequate infrastructure, as well as a lack of investment in health and education were among the protesters’ grievances.

Brazil has been often criticized for its weak infrastructure, which drives production costs up. Most recently, the country struggled with the renovation of its airport network. Poor or inadequate sewage treatment is a recurring problem, especially in Brazil’s underprivileged communities in both urban and rural areas.

Read more (in Portuguese).

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  1. Before they make the investment in road paving, they should consult with some American or European builders so they can learn to make roads that actually last without falling apart. The conditions of most roads here is appalling.

  2. Yes, it’s about time.

    Mike, seriously, grow up. let’s not pretend as if they, the people there in the United States and European countries are better and let’s not pretend as if there are “better” roads in the United States. Who has traveled lately in that nation (I did and still do) witness how their infrastructure is falling apart and cannot rebuilt or build great roads at all, unless done by foreigners.

  3. What we have to do after this money is sent to the municipalities is to keep an eye on the mayors. Let’s not forget what happened in Petrópolis and Teresópolis. The federal government sent millions of reais to those cities for housing and infrastructure, and so far nothing has been done.

  4. Nicholas,

    Yes, you’re right. The roads and highways in my home country are falling apart. But, comparing the state and condition of the roads here in São Paulo with most areas in the US,I stand by my comment. I’ve driven those roads, and watched them being built for 30 years, with the last time being June 20, 2012.

    When a road that is expected to support big buses and even bigger trucks is made with a limited sand base and a 2 inch layer of asphalt, especially when the amount of rain that we have here is encountered, you’re going to experience immediate deterioration. The roads in the US have, in many places, been in place for 50 years, or more. In Europe, the road builders are required to give a 30 year warranty with all repairs being paid for by the builder. Can that be said about anywhere in Brazil?

    Oh, and companies that do road work in the US are US companies,,not foreign ones. Let’s not forget that most areas in Brazil don’t experience snowfall and freezing temperatures, two forces of nature that combine to destroy roads.
    Ubiraci: I agree.

  5. I am with you Mike, I watched a road being resurfaced recently. They scraped off the old asphalt, rolled the mud and sand and then added new asphalt. I also saw a ‘repair man’ working on Dutra recently who would run out in gaps in the traffic and tip tarmac into a pot hole and then run back, relying on passing traffic to flatten it down. Until they start to plan for the future and build roads to last for ten or twenty years and calculate the usage growth and build to accommodate the volume the situation will never improve. Ultimately the change would have to come from the government, insisting on higher standards from their contractors.

  6. Exactly. With the size and weight of the trucks and buses, the roads need a 4-5 inch concrete base over rolled sand on top of rolled crushed rock for drainage. On top of that is at least 6 inches of asphalt. Recycling old tires into the asphalt mix gives it more grip flexibility, and increases tire wear, too.

    When the proper engineering and construction methods go into the original project, the savings in the cost of maintenance over the long run more than equals out the extra cost.


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