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Latino Daily News

Sunday October 27, 2013

Rio’s Port Area to See a Revitalization Ahead of 2016 Olympic Games

Rio’s Port Area to See a Revitalization Ahead of 2016 Olympic Games

Photo: Rio de Janeiro port

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The port area of Rio de Janeiro, which currently has a Human Development Index worse than that of Sub-Saharan Africa, will be completely revitalized by 2016, when the city will host the Olympic Games, thanks to a $1.8 billion project that has the Port of Barcelona as its model.

That was what the director of the company awarded the contract to renovate and manage that area, Jose Renato Ponte, told reporters after a visit to the works in progress.

The revamp underway signifies the “reorganization of a degraded area” of the Brazilian city, he said.

Ponte also recalled that this area, located in central Rio de Janeiro, was “always a garbage dump for the city’s inhabitants,” and noted that it was totally lacking in basic infrastructure like schools and hospitals.

He also expressed hope that the area’s renovation, which has as its model the restoration of the Port of Barcelona before the 1992 Olympic Games, “will bring back life to that part of the city.”

Some 5,500 laborers are currently working on restoring the port area, many of them on the three tunnels that will redistribute traffic in the area and will open the space around the port to citizens.

The biggest of those three tunnels, on which 1,050 laborers are working and which is closer to being finished than the other two, will be opened to traffic during the first half of 2014.

The investment outlay will eventually rise to 7.6 billion reais (nearly $3.5 billion) since the company will also invest in other services in the area over the next 15 years, such as street lighting and trash collection.

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