Key Rio Olympics Subway Line at ‘High Risk’ of Being Late

Rio de Janeiro Subway Construction
Workers stand in an unfinished metro tunnel ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photographer: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg

A key subway line slated to transport visitors to the site of next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games is at “high risk” of not being ready, according to a tribunal that oversees state government spending.

The warning from Rio’s audit court over the $2.5 billion subway extension which would link Rio’s touristic southern hub to the still-under construction Olympic Park comes a month before the next inspection visit from the games’ organizer.

Rio 2016, the local group responsible for preparing the city to host South America’s first Olympics, has consistently said it is confident all projects will be completed despite tight deadlines. The Olympic opening ceremonies are scheduled for Aug. 5, 2016. Rio is spending almost 40 billion reais ($12.6 billion) on the events and related works.

“There can’t be any more delays in the planned schedule in order for the subway extension to be functioning before the 2016 Olympics,” the audit court, known as TCE, said in its report. The report was based on data collected through December.

Delays are common in major projects in Brazil. Almost every stadium used at last year’s soccer World Cup missed deadlines and cost more than original estimates. Odebrecht SA, the engineering and construction group responsible for the project, is under scrutiny for its alleged involvement in Brazil’s biggest bribery scandal.

“Rio is entering the most intense period of preparations, a period where Rio must reach a new level of detail in its planning,” Nawal El Moutawakel, head of the IOC’s inspection team for Rio, said following its last visit in February.

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