A bike path constructed as part of the heritage building for the Brazil 2016 Olympics has failed after less than four months, taking at least two lives. The structure is part of an interconnecting system of bike and walking paths that allow the residents of Sao Conrado to traverse the city without having to interact with motorized traffic.
The path was built high above the beach area facing the Atlantic Ocean. It was touted as the “most beautiful bike path in the world”. Yesterday a whole section of the 3.9km path fell to the beach when a rogue wave hit it. It was reported that large waves were rolling in from the ocean and hitting the cliffs. A witness to the failure of the pathway reported that a particularly large wave lifted a section and it fell taking five people with it.
One person was rescued. Two bodies were recovered and two are still missing.
Photographs of the failed section show a complete section gone. There are no remnants or rebar hanging. The connector to Olympic venues cost the Brazilian taxpayers nearly USD$13 million.
“I almost died,” Guilherme Miranda told the Globo newspaper. “Where’s the mayor, where’s the engineer who did this work? It’s appalling to see people dying in front of you. Someone has to give a response for that 45 million [reais]. It just opened and is already cracked in several places.” The Guardian
The preparations for the Rio games have received a great deal of criticism. The cycling match to test out the new velodrome has had to be cancelled because the facility is still not finished. Other facilities have been cut back or eliminated causing the IOC to make statements of concern. Those facilities may lack sufficient electricity if the supply is not assured soon.
The water sports have had a great deal of publicity because of the stinky condition of the venues. Much of the sewage and garbage for the host city is disposed of directly into ditches and waterways.
This year’s Olympics are the first awarded to a country south of the Equator. When Brazil was awarded the sports extravaganza their economy was surging ahead and the political situation seemed stable. Times have changed. Plummeting oil prices have hit their economy, corruption has siphoned off billions and the president has just faced a hostile government coalition that has voted to impeach her.
The Guardian UK
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