Rio Olympic stadium to reopen by June

Rio de Janeiro: Rio de Janeiro`s 2016 Olympic athletics stadium will be reopened to the public by mid-2014 under a refurbishment plan approved by local officials.

But the Joao Havelange stadium, known locally as the Engenhao after the neighbourhood in which it is located, will not be fully functional until November 2014.

"The renovation proposal that has been chosen offers the advantage of a shorter interruption period," Rio`s urban development watchdog Riourbe said in a statement on Wednesday.

"It will allow fans to safely attend matches by the first half of next year, while meeting all health and safety guidelines."

The Engenhao was closed in March after an independent engineer`s report showed the venue`s roof could collapse due to structural problems.

Built for the 2007 Pan-American Games, the stadium is set to have its capacity increased from 47,000 to 60,000 to host track and field events at the Rio Olympics.

The iconic Maracana stadium, which was reopened in June after three years of construction work, will host the Games` opening and closing ceremonies as well as the Olympic and Paralympic football tournaments.

The Engenhao`s refurbishment will be undertaken by the Engenhao consortium, formed by Brazilian constructors Odebrecht and OAS.

Work will be supervised by German engineering firm SBP, responsible for identifying the defects in March.

Riourbe added that additional work, unrelated to the roof, will begin in 2015 to meet International Olympic Committee guidelines.


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