Updated: Friday, 18 April 2014 04:20 | By Agence France-Presse

Rio Games ramp up infrastructure investment to outstrip London

Brazil will spend 24.1 billion reais ($10.8 billion) on infrastructure projects for the 2016 Rio Olympics in an effort to ensure South America's first Games are delivered on time, organizers have announced.


Rio Games ramp up infrastructure investment to outstrip London

View of the constructing site of a new express way called Transolimpica in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on November 08, 2013, part of the modernization of neighborhoods prior to the 2016 Olympic Games - by Yasuyoshi Chiba

The figure will take the total projected spending for the Olympics to 36.7 billion reais ($16.3 billion) with the total exceeding the cost of the 2012 event in London.

Last week, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) drew up a list of urgent recommendations to revitalize flagging preparations after Francesco Ricci Bitti, the president of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations sounded the alarm over slow progress. 

In addition, visiting Rio on March 21, IOC executive director Gilbert Felli had expressed concern at the lack of a detailed budget.

Despite the authorities moving to do just that the figure does not include 28 of 52 projects overall as laid down by the Public Olympic Authority (APO) as they have still to go to tender. 

These include the cost of the Deodoro zone in the northwest of the city where 11 facilities are projected to cost 900 million reais ($400 million) while the other 17 projects do not have a price tag.

Federal, state and municipal authorities met Wednesday and earmarked their cash funding strands -- on top of an operating budget of seven billion reais -- in order to allay fears that the Games will not be ready on time with a number of projected facilities yet to break ground.

With Brazil already having shelved a slew of urban mobility programs which had been slated to coincide with this year's World Cup, Rio authorities, now investing 25 percent more than planned in the 2016 event, are anxious to deliver on transport, a sector requiring major overhaul.

Of the budget, an 8.79 billion reais ($3.9 billion) slice is going on the building of a fourth metro line in the city to link up with the western part of the city which will host many of the Games' events.

In all, the infrastructure cash will be spread across 27 projects covering transport, including a light rail transit system, and general urban development.

According to Rio Mayor Eduard Paes, 58.52 percent of the total budget of 36.7 billion reais will be financed with private money and the remaining 41.48 percent through public funding.

Paes said after the figures were unveiled that 65 percent of the infrastructure cash would endure as "heritage" for the city.

Paes added: "London was taken as the model for the Olympiad but ours will take up fewer public resources."

Taking inflation into account, London cost $14.27 billion or $2 billion less. 

Private funding is covering the organising committee's own budget of seven billion reais -- up 27 percent on inital estimates -- and private operators are also to upgrade Rio's international airport.

Rio won the right to stage the Games in 2009 but since then inflation and adding new projects has pushed up the cost by almost a third above initial projections.

The initial projection was for a total of 28.9 billion reais -- equivalent to 38.1 billion at today's values, according to Folha de Sao Paulo with the private sector coming from private funding.

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