Line 4 of the MetroRio network will be operational by 2016 according to Governor Pezão and Secretary for Transport Carlos Roberto Osório, who confirmed that drilling machine’s are currently in operation between what will become the Jardim de Alah and Antero de Quental stations in Leblon.
According to the current schedule, the drilling machines will stop in September for maintenance and checks, continuing in October and before reaching the next station, Alto Leblon, by December 2015. At this point work will begin on the connection between Alto Leblon and Barra da Tijuca.
“[The works are] on schedule and in some cases, even early. We arrived at the Jardim de Alah ahead of schedule by over thirty days, which shows the ability of Brazilian engineering,” Governor Pezão explained.
“This operation is not simple and the deadline [has been] kept. Line 4 is an important legacy for the public and a work of great complexity which employs 9,200 workers. We want to continue expanding because the metro represents quality of life, dignity and citizenship for people,” he continued.
The drilling process used on the project uses a number of ground-breaking innovations (pun intended). The proximity of the proposed Jardim Alah station to the river created a number of difficulties and concerns. The station was initially filled with water to even out pressure and prevent collapse, allowing the machine to continue operating in the conditions found under the channel without significant adjustment or structural reinforcement.
“It was the most complex stage of this entire work. Due to its proximity to the Jardim de Alah channel, we flooded the station to decrease possible risks of the operation. This technique was performed a few times in the world and for the first time in Brazil. That was one of the key points to the success of our enterprise and we managed it successfully,” Metro Line 4 production manager, Aluísio Coutinho, explained.
So far, twelve of the sixteen kilometers needed for the project have been excavated, with four of the six new stations prepared for engineering and construction.
“Rio has to celebrate the finishing of the most complex stage of the work of Metro Line 4. It was a major operation of Brazilian engineering. The arrival of the drilling machine at the future station Jardim de Alah with more than thirty days in advance, guarantees our schedule to delivery of the work. Today, we took an important step for the people: the work will be ready in June next year,” Secretary for Transport Carlos Roberto Osório promised.
The new line will begin preliminary operations by June 2016, serving only outside of rush hours initially. Train numbers and headways will be limited to allow for adjustments and testing, so that the metro can operate a full service a month later.