Recreio to Guaratiba in Only Five Minutes
A construction project that local residents have been awaiting for years, the Grota Funda Tunnel has become a reality with the conclusion of the detonations under the Pedra Branca solid rock formation
Eight months and 380 tons of dynamite later, the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of Recreio is now closer to the region of Guaratiba, also in the city’s Western Zone, with the end of the Grota Funda Tunnel diggings. With the explosions finished, it is already possible to pass along the 1,000 meters of the two galleries over the Pedra Branca solid rock formation.
– This city is nearly 450 years old, with approximately one-third of the population living in the Western Zone. The city has 13 tunnels, and this Pedra Branca solid rock never deserved a tunnel. It was a part of the city that lived with a barrier. It is a really good thing for us to bring a direct connection that covers Guaratiba, Sepetiba and Santa Cruz – said Mayor Eduardo Paes after the last explosion.
The next phase will be that of the installation of the security, ventilation and gallery lighting systems. Drainage services will also be provided to prevent infiltrations. Representing a first-of-its-kind technology in Rio de Janeiro, the tunnel will be lined with concrete plates. The painting will use a special material that facilitates cleaning. The paving of the lanes will have an anti-skid surface, such as that used in the Smooth Asphalt program.
Access loops are also being built both on the Recreio side as well as the Guaratiba side, which will help partially reorganize the traffic in the site. After the conclusion of the tunnel, the population will save approximately 40 minutes – the average commute time over the Grota Funda Mountain Range, known for its heavy traffic.
The complete tunnel construction work – which is part of the second stretch of the construction of Transoeste – the corridor with exclusive lanes for the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) buses – will cost the Rio de Janeiro City Government R$ 550 million of a total of R$ 800 million planned for the entire corridor, which will not have a toll plaza.
The Transoeste corridor will extend 56 km and have express and multi-stop BRT lines, connecting Jardim Oceânico, in Barra da Tijuca, to the neighborhoods of Santa Cruz and Campo Grande. The City Government estimates that some 220,000 people will be benefited per day.