Saúde Tunnel already takes shape
Residents of the Port Region of Rio can already see through the Saúde Hill. The tunnel, which is a part of the new transport system of the region – the so-called Port Binary –, has already been excavated from one side to the other, and now the work will focus on two parallel tunnels – [...]
Residents of the Port Region of Rio can already see through the Saúde Hill. The tunnel, which is a part of the new transport system of the region – the so-called Port Binary –, has already been excavated from one side to the other, and now the work will focus on two parallel tunnels – one of which will be reserved for the Light Rail.
Until now, one-fourth of the construction of the future Saúde Tunnel has been concluded – in spite of difficulties like the low soil coverage on the hill, which is considered small and has a big building complex on top. As a precaution, before each new explosion there is an evacuation of the residents of 20 apartments – among them Isaías Amancio de Souza, production manager of the Saúde Tunnel.
“I’m the guarantee that the work is being well done, otherwise I wouldn’t live there myself”, jokes Isaías. “I’m from Araraquara, in São Paulo, and preferred to live near my workplace. My apartment is right above, on the third floor. The neighbors ask about the construction, I invite them to visit the site and that helps our relationship with them. The owners, of course, are excited by the increase in the value of their property, which is reported to be worth twice as much now”.
In order to lessen inconvenience, there is an entire schedule for the detonations with the times when there are fewer people in the buildings.
“We sound three alarms – the first half an hour before the detonation, warning about the need for evacuation. Aside from that, we block five streets and stop construction on a neighboring site. Unfortunately, all that is necessary to avoid any problems”, says engineer Joel Ventura, coordinator of the construction.
The building process began in December with the demolition of abandoned warehouses and the protection of the massif. The mass of the hill, composed by several kinds of rock, forced the engineers to use different techniques – from perforation to the explosions, which began on June 1.
The tunnel will be only 22 meters long and have three lanes – one reserved for the Light Rail. It will be a part of the Port Binary, the new expressway that will substitute the Perimetral Viaduct. It will have three lanes on each side connecting the bus terminal to Mauá Square and 1º de Março Street.