A 150-foot elevated cycle path section in Rio de Janeiro collapsed this morning after it was hit by a wave, killing at least two of the five cyclists who fell into the sea. The 2.4 mile long Tim Maia Cycle Path—completed in January at a cost of $12.7 million—was one of the many infrastructure projects undertaken in anticipation of this summer’s Olympic games. According to the Guardian, the path runs between “the South Zone, which will stage the rowing and triathlon, and the main Olympic Park in Barra de Tijuca.”
Rio officials are seemingly in denial about the path’s obvious structural failure. Via CyclingTips:
Municipal secretary Pedro Paulo Carvalho told O Globo that it was “premature” to say that there was a failure in the path’s construction.
However, Brazilian economist Cleber Pereira disputed that, saying it was “absurd” that a newly opened construction project, set upon the ocean, would collapse due to a breaking wave. “Where are the engineers who designed this?” he said. “A work of this size and they didn’t not provide for natural events like crashing waves?”
A video posted by Fabio Aquino on Facebook shows the scene:
In perhaps related news, two days ago Reuters reported that five engineering firms who are building most of the Olympics infrastructure are under investigation for kickbacks and bribing politicians.
The Olympic torch was lit this morning in Athens, beginning its 15 week journey to Rio de Janeiro.