#EngineeringTheOlympics: Rio’s Olympic Infrastructure

#EngineeringTheOlympics: Rio’s Olympic Infrastructure

On August 5, 2016, all eyes were on the Maracanã Stadium in Rio for the opening ceremony of the Olympics. After years of planning, the games are now underway. We will be looking back over the next two weeks at the massive work of civil engineering which play such a pivotal role in building the infrastructure and stadiums for the event.

The 2016 Rio Olympics are the first time a game will be held in South America. Brazil has assembled vast resources to try to ensure that both participants and spectators will have a good experience in the city.

When Brazil submitted its Olympic bid on September 13, 2007, it did so in a very different economic climate. In the years since the country has dealt with political and financial turmoil. The Olympics will be a showcase of well the organisers have been able to respond to this change in circumstances.


Despite concerns over the scale and cost of constructions the Olympics are now underway and people remain optimistic about the outcome of the Games now that venues were all complete and open. The hope now is that the Games can leave lasting positive effect on Rio.

Rio’s Olympic Infrastructure

  • 14 different venues have been built for the event.
  • Brazil is estimated to have spent $6.7 billion on the venues, the bulk of this on the main Olympic Park which is over 44 acres.
  • Rio’s subway was extended 1kilometresrs to accommodate an additional 300,000 people each day.
  • The Olympic Village was built on 185 acres and can hold 17,700 beds in three-and-four bedroom apartments.
  • The Olympic Tennis Central can seat 10,000 spectators. With small courts outside being able to hold between 250 and 5000 people.
  • Rio’s public transport system has created a “high-performance transport ring“; this includes renovation of the train system, expansion of the subway and metro, and four new bus-rapid-transit lines (BRT).

Engineering the Olympics Legacy

  • Once the Olympics are over on August 21st, Rio’s public transport system will be able to serve 66% of the population (against 38% before the Olympics).
  • The new 16km metro will connect the Ipanema neighbourhood with Barra district, cutting at 2 hour car journey down to 13 minutes.
  • The new metro line is estimated to take 2,000 cars off the road.
  • Each bus on the BRT  should remove the 126 cards.
  • The Golf course will become Brazils first public golf facility.
  • Deodoro Park, the big hub of the Games, will be opened to the public benefitting one of Rio’s poorest areas.
  • The handball arena will be dismantled and rebuilt into four public schools.
  • The Olympic Aquatic Sports Centre will become two swimming centres.
  • One of the Olympic Gymnasium’s will become an experimental sports school, the other an high-level sports training centre.

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