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Thursday, 17 April 2014 12:02cat

Brazil Unveils $10.76 Billion Infrastructure Budget for Rio 2016

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Brazilian officials unveiled their $10.76 billion legacy budget for the 2016 Summer Olympics Brazilian officials unveiled their $10.76 billion legacy budget for the 2016 Summer Olympics Reuters

Brazilian officials unveiled their $10.76 billion legacy budget today for the 2016 Summer Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro. The money will be spent on projects relating to infrastructure, mobility, urbanization, and sports facilities either motivated or accelerated by the games but not directly related to holding the Summer Olympics. The budget is 25% higher than originally planned, but Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes attributes the increase to adding new projects and 6% inflation since 2009.  There have been mounting concerns over Rio’s level of preparedness for the summer games due to the slow rate of progress on construction projects, but the budget announcement is supposed to quell some of the fears about Brazil not being ready in time.

The Rio legacy budget includes 27 projects in urban development and public transportation. Officials claim that the legacy budget covers projects that would have been needed without the Olympics. It does not include any of the roughly 25 projects or facilities that will be needed for the Olympics but have yet to receive approval. Rio Mayer Eduardo Paes stated that 57 percent of the budget will come from public funds and the rest would come from private funds. While the budget will allow construction of a $3.6 billion fourth metro line for Rio, it does not provide funds for any upgrades to the city’s airport. Private companies will handle the airport upgrades. 

The legacy budget is the third budget announced this year by the Rio Olympic organizing committee. The first budget, announced in January, stated the games’ operating budget would be $3.1 billion. The money is provided by the International Olympic committee and is used to operate the games themselves. The second budget announcement, also unveiled in January, provided $2.5 billion to build half of the infrastructure projects needed specifically for the Olympic games. This budget will be updated every six months as new projects are added or costs increase.

The overall cost of the Olympics now stands at $16 billion, $3 billion more than originally estimated back in 2009. Construction at most of the venues is progressing slowly, and work has not started yet on the Deodoro Olympic Park. Some people have began to ask the International Olympic Committee about their contingency plans if Rio fails to finish all of the necessary projects on time. While the IOC has faith that all of the venues and infrastructure improvements will be finished for the start of the Olympics, they have continued to put pressure on Rio by sending the IOC’s executive director of the Olympic games to Rio to monitor the city’s progress.  Rio’s Mayor believes that the legacy budget will benefit ordinary Rio citizens, and hopes the Olympics will rejuvenate the city the way the 1992 games did for Barcelona. 

Sources: ReutersThe News Tribune

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