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In one of the most striking moments in the renovation of Rio’s port area, the removal of the first stretch of the 'Perimetral' elevated highway took place successfully on Sunday. The spectacular implosion will enable infrastructure work to advance in the region, including the building of an expressway to connect the Aterro do Flamengo to Avenida Brasil and the Rio-Niterói Bridge. The changes taking place at the port were inspired by renovation works carried out in the Barcelona before the 1992 Olympic Games there.
In the Spanish city, former warehouse areas and port structures were converted into avenues and new buildings, some of which were used to house athletes. For the Rio 2016 Games, the port area will host the media and referees’ villages, as well as a convention centre and two hotels.
Furthermore, while in Rio the Perimetral blocks the view of Guanabara Bay, in Barcelona it was a train line that obstructed the sea view. The city dug a tunnel for trains to go through to avoid disturbing the landscape. Likewise, excavation work is under way in Rio to deal with the traffic once the elevated highway has been completely demolished. In its place, two overlapping tunnels are being built, based on a design of a kind never before seen in the city, as shown in the video below.
Rio’s port area is already starting to take on a new look. The opening of the Rio Museum of Art on 1 March of this year was the first milestone in the region’s cultural revitalisation. In addition, the Museum of Tomorrow, a space for discussing humanity’s future, will open on Pier Mauá in the second half of 2014.
In all, 1,200 kg of explosives were used to bring down the first section of the Perimetral, resulting in 5,104 metric tons of debris. The rubble will be cleared away from six points over the course of 90 days, during the night to avoid disturbing traffic flows in the city. All the material will be reused in the port area’s regeneration projects.