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Rio tender for Olympic Velodrome – construction budget R$136.9m

The City of Rio de Janeiro has opened the bidding for construction and operation of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games Velodrome. The construction budget is R$136.9 million. The new Velodrome will be a permanent venue with a capacity of 5,000 fixed seats and an available area for up to 800 temporary seats and flexibility for other arena configurations.

The venue will include the Olympic Training Centre (OTC) for high-performance athletes, which will be the main sport legacy for the city and the country. Like the call for tender for the Tennis Centre, launched on 16 July 2013, the City requires not only the construction, but also the operation of the facility for 23 months starting from delivery. This proposal to ensure the operation of the venue came the Ministry of Sport, which has been working in close partnership with the City. The Federal Government will transfer R$ 136.9 million to the municipality for works and US$ 7.2 million for the operation of the new sport venue, as per the technical cooperation agreement signed between the Ministry of Sport and the City in May 2012.

Construction of the Velodrome is set to begin in the fourth quarter of 2013, and the new venue will be delivered in the second half of 2015. The basic design has been completed. The executive project is nearing completion, and will be ready before the start of construction. These projects were procured and are being funded by the City.

The former velodrome was dismantled and transferred by the Sport Ministry to the city of Pinhais in the state of Paraná, maintaining the sport legacy of the Pan American Games. The state of Paraná has the largest track cycling centre in Brazil.

The budget is modest compared to some previous Olympic Velodrome projects but costs include budgeting for recently introduced requirements, such as the flame-retardant seats required by the Fire Department, seats for people with disabilities – as established in Federal Decree 7.823/2012 – and an air conditioning system.

The bidding for the construction and operation of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games Velodrome does not include the budget for the wooden track. Hiring the track will Rio 2016´s responsibility.

The winner of the tender for the development of basic and executive projects of the Olympic Velodrome, announced on January 31, 2013, was the Rio Olympic Equipment Consortium, formed by the following companies: Arqhos Consultoria and Projetos LTDA, Arup do Brasil Consultoria LTDA, BlacBackheuserand LeonidioArquiteturaand CidadeS/C, Conen Consultoria and Engenharia LTDA and JLA Casagrande Serviços and Consultoria de Engenharia LTDA. Preliminary studies were prepared by AECOM, winner of the international competition that chose the company responsible for the overall town-planning of the Olympic Park of Barra in August 2011.

The decision to build an Olympic Velodrome was made jointly by the City, Rio 2016 and the Federal Government, after several tests. Survey of the International Cycling Federation (UCI, French acronym for Union Cycliste Internationale) of the velodrome built for the Pan American Games, made at the request of Rio 2016, resulted in the opinion that the structure could not be used in the Olympics.

In their reports, the UCI cited several aspects which were at odds with the requirements necessary for conducting the Olympic competitions. Among these, the fact that the building has two pillars which hindered the view of the public, the viewers and the judges, and the track does not allow athletes to reach the speed necessary to overcome the world and Olympic records. It was established in the Pan American Games that the maximum speed in the velodrome was 70 km/h, at the time for the approval of the 2007 event. Currently, for example, in the 200 meters competition, the world record speed is around 79 km/h. During the 2012 Games in London, the speed achieved was 75 km/h. According to Olympic standards for the requirements for a Category 1 lane, the minimum and maximum speeds should be 85 km/h and 110 km/h, respectively.

Dismantling the old velodrome was done by the Concessionária Rio Mais, responsible for the construction of the Olympic Park in Barra da Tijuca. The blasting operation began in early March 2013 and was completed in early June, in accordance with the construction schedule of the Olympic Park venues.

The technicians responsible for the disassembly sought to make the most of the venue. The entire track support structure, the grandstand seats, metallic structure and roof, light fixtures, windows, doors, elevator, pipes, aluminium frames, ducts, hydraulic and fire venue material, and the power substation electrical equipment, among other items, were transferred to Pinhais.

Besides the Olympic Velodrome, the City of Rio de Janeiro will also get an outdoor practice velodrome inside one of the Olympic Villages currently in operation. The Rio Ministry of Sport is analysing the standard design recommended by the Brazilian Cycling Federation for such venues. It will be paid for by the Federal Government and will be built in 2014.

Re-use is a legacy theme for Rio 2016 which has a Sustainability Management Plan, established with the three levels of government (federal, state and municipal) to lay the foundations and integrate the principles, actions and projects related to sustainability in planning and operating events.

The launch was marked by the signing (pictured – Denise Hamú, UNEP representative in Brazil, Rio 2016, President Carlos Arthur Nuzman, and Rio 2016 Chief Operations Officer Leonardo Gryner during the signing of the technical cooperation agreement. Photo: Alex Ferro Rio 2016) of a technical cooperation agreement with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which provides, among other activities, an evaluation plan and mediation around the subject of sustainability between Rio 2016 and civil society. The sub-brand “Embrace” Rio 2016 will be used in all Games communications related to the Sustainability Plan.