Rio 2016 Confident of Metro Loan Approval

(ATR) A key loan from the federal government for the Rio metro expansion hangs in limbo but Rio organizers say there is no reason to be worried.

(ATR) A key loan from the federal governmentfor the Rio metro expansion hangs in limbo but Rio organizers say there is no reason to be worried.

According to a spokesperson from the Rio state secretary for transportation, work on the metro is 95 percent complete but a $287 million loan is required to finish construction. The spokesperson confirmed to Around the Rings that the state is still waiting for final approval from the federal government to release the funds for the project.

On June 4, Brazilian newspaper Globo reported that because the state of Rio de Janeiro missed a loan payment in May it must prove to the federal government that it will be able to repay any future loans. It added that it is unlikely the loan will be approved to the state government without personal approval by acting President Michel Temer.

The same day state secretary for transport Rodrigo Vieira told RJ-TV that "work cannot be delayed one more day," to get the metro running by August 1. Despite delays this year, Olympic organizers are counting on the metro to be operational so citizens with Olympic tickets can use the new line in limited operation to travel out to the Olympic Park in Barra da Tijuca from the South Zone of the city.

The spokesperson did not return requests for clarification by ATR about what would happen if the loan money was not received.

Mario Andrada, communications director for Rio 2016, told reporters today that, "there is no indication that there will be any change," to the schedule for delivery of the metro. He added that the organization is sticking to the original transportation plan for the Games, which includes a functioning line 4.

"The money has been given, so to speak, but it is a matter of how the money will travel from one side of the government to the other," Andrada said. "We still have reasons to believe confident that the state says they will release the money. The construction has been done and goes all the way to Barra."

Written by Aaron Bauer in Rio de Janeiro

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