New tunnel in Barra da Tijuca improves critical spot in the region
The tunnel is near the cultural complex called City of Arts, and one of the lanes has already been built. There will be two of them, both in the Recreio dos Bandeirantes direction.
The belt highway known as Cebolão, in Barra da Tijuca, West Zone of Rio de Janeiro, has become the terror of drivers that go through the borough. It’s an intersection between Américas and Ayrton Senna avenues, two of the most important avenues in Barra, which lead to different destinations in the region. But now, thanks to the Transcarioca BRT, this spot that is prone to so many traffic jams will get a tunnel that promises to greatly diminish traffic delays in the region.
The worksite is near the cultural complex called City of Arts, and one of the lanes has already been built. There will be two of them, both in the Recreio dos Bandeirantes direction. Those who are going from the South Zone of Rio to Barra da Tijuca can take two lanes in the Américas Avenue: the one in the middle, which leads to Recreio and to the beaches, and the outer lane, that leads to the Ayrton Senna Avenue in the direction of the Tom Jobim International Airport. The central lane of the tunnel has already been built and, right now, the workers are finishing the second lane that will skirt the avenue.
“One of the lanes of the tunnel took less than one year to be built. The greatest difficulties were the traffic detours in the region. This is a spot where there are traffic jams every day. The tunnel comes to supply the necessity to improve circulation”, explained the chief engineer, Eduardo Fagundes. “Before, those who came from the beach or from the central lane of Américas Avenue had to go through here. But those who came from the outer lane of the Américas Avenue had to go to the Ayrton Senna Avenue, stop at the light at Lourenço Jorge Hospital and only then make the u-turn. Now this won’t happen anymore and, with that, we will improve the flow of traffic on the belt highway.
The second part of the building work should be ready at the end of the month or at the beginning of September. The workers are excavating, making concrete slabs and installing contention barriers on the hillsides. Today, traffic was detoured to inside the City of Arts, with the intention of clearing space on the worksite to organize materials, apply concrete and do other tasks. The workers are also using a technique known as Jet Grouting, which turns the ground into a sort of cement through injections of mortar. This method is very common in Barra because of the type of soil that exists in the region.
Stirring up this hornet’s nest was necessary because of the BRT of the Transcarioca, whose buses will go over the tunnel. If that hadn’t been done, there would be another traffic light on that spot – which would certainly help creating even more traffic jams. The tunnel, therefore, will be another legacy to the population of Rio. Right next to it is the Alvorada Terminal, final stop of the new BRT line.
To end traffic jams on that belt highway is difficult, because it is caused by those who come from the beach, those who go to Recreio and those going to several other destinations. But without a doubt traffic will be dramatically improved here. This belt highway impacts the traffic in all directions. Without a doubt, we will have a lower driving time for those who pass through here”, says Fagundes.