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Rio Breaks Contract with Olympic Builder

Thursday, June 2, 2016

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With just weeks before the Summer Olympic Games start on Aug. 5, Rio de Janeiro authorities have cancelled a contract with the contractor in charge of building a major venue, reports say.

Tecnosolo, the contractor building the velodrome, “did not have the conditions to continue being technically responsible for the construction,” the municipal government said in a statement, according to Reuters.

© / pixalot

The velodrome in Rio is set to host Olympic track cycling events during the games. The $43 million structure is the most delayed venue, reports say.

The report notes that the Rio-based firm had also declared bankruptcy Monday (May 31).

Set to host Olympic track cycling events, the velodrome is the most delayed project in Rio’s build up to the games.

88 Percent Complete

An indoor cycling test event that was scheduled for the end of April did not take place because the facility was not ready.

However, officials maintain that the venue will be ready come game time, noting that work is 88 percent complete.

A subcontractor, Engetécnica, will be responsible for completing the structure, Reuters reported.

Logistical Delays

In March, Olympic organizers said the project’s delays were due to logistical issues in laying the track of Siberian wood.

Velodrome floor
© / P_Wei

Delays have been due to logistical problems with the Siberian wood used for the track's floor, Olympic organizers say.

"We had some logistical problems, such as unloading the wood into the venue and to install containers and offices, and we realized that it was too close for us to make sure that the track was perfectly installed," Mario Andrada, a spokesman for the Olympics organization, told reporters when the test event was cancelled.

“A training opportunity” is to be held June 25-27 in lieu of the test event.

The Olympic Games run Aug. 5 through Aug. 21.


Tagged categories: Bankruptcy; Construction; Contractors; Good Technical Practice; Government contracts; South America; Stadiums/Sports Facilities

Comment from Jesse Melton, (6/2/2016, 8:31 AM)

What is "Siberian wood", other than a brand name? As far as I know Siberia is home to a few dozen species of tree. The IOC should turn venue construction into a medal event. Competitors would be judged on adherence to timelines, specs and budgets. Other potential judging factors could include shortest travel distance in materials logistics, worker safety, fewest bribes accepted or made, energy efficiency, potential for reuse/repurposing in the future and ease of removal.

Comment from Jeff Laikind, (6/2/2016, 9:31 AM)

Jesse, regarding "Siberian wood", this is from the MPORA web site: "Siberian pine is famous for its ability to bend into new shapes without splintering or breaking while still maintaining the strength needed to build an Olympic level cycle racing track. Reputed to be the fastest surface for racing on in the world, Siberian Pine can be affected by changes in temperature and humidity which cause the wood to warp. Velodrome tracks have to be flawless to achieve the best results at competition. Even small bumps or irregularities can makes a track impossible to race on which means that conditions have to be perfect for the wood before track construction can begin. For London 2012 the wood was given several months inside the drome to acclimatise to UK conditions before it was used, ensuring the smoothest and fastest possible finish. It’s not clear how long the timber for Rio has had to get used to the sweltering Brazilian heat which raises some questions about the final finish."

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