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Tram in Brazil not ready for World Cup

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (BDCi) — A light rail system that was meant to help get soccer fans get around World Cup city Cuiaba, in Brazil’s remote Mato Grosso state, will not be ready in time for the tournament, a top official said.

Mauricio Guimaraes, who heads World Cup projects in the far western state, said the 13 mile-long train lines won’t be completed until December, nearly five months after the World Cup is over.

Mato Grosso’s infrastructure projects have been plagued by delays and news reports say 47 out of the state’s 56 World-Cup related projects are delayed. Cuiaba’s Arena Pantanal stadium, which is set to host four World Cup matches starting with Australia versus Chile on June 13, was among six World Cup stadiums that missed the December 31 deadline imposed by FIFA.

Speaking Monday in an interview with TV Centro America, the Globo television network’s local affiliate, Guimaraes blamed “various delays” for the setbacks, adding that “from now on it will be fast.”

“The projects are all in the conclusion phase,”said Guimaraes. “The hardest part has already been concluded.”

Still, he acknowledged that no track has yet been laid for the $621 million light rail system, which includes a link to the airport and was widely seen as the crowning jewel of the city’s World Cup infrastructure.

“From now on it’s quick. We will be laying down 200, 300, up to 400 meters of track each day,” he said. “Therefore the phase we are entering is quicker and with less interference in our execution of the work.”

Guimaraes said he expected the other area projects would be completed in time for the World Cup,which is expected to bring some 500,000 foreign visitors.


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