RIO DE JANEIRO, May 14 (UPI) -- An important addition to Rio de Janeiro's subway system is set to open just a few of days before the Summer Olympics.
First, the local government planned for the 10-mile Metro Line 4 connecting Ipanema and Leblon to the Barra da Tijuca region to open this month. It has since been pushed back to July due to significant delays that have slowed the project.
Transportation Secretary Rodrigo Vieira announced Friday the metro's opening date will be pushed to Aug. 1 -- just four days before the Olympics' opening ceremony. Vieria said the line would operate at half-capacity during the games, forcing officials to limit its use to people associated with the Olympics and not the general public.
During the Summer Olympics, which will take place between Aug. 5-21, only athletes, spectators, press pass holders and personnel will be permitted to use the metro line as it runs at half capacity. Afterward, Vieira said construction will recommence and it will reopen for the Paralympics in late September, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The general public will not be allowed to use the service until after September's events.
According to The Rio Times, Vieira said the recent delays were necessary, "Because we are doing, right now, and over the months of June and July, all the necessary tests. They are tests that begin as individual and go to compound tests, the movement of trains. During July, for example we [circulate] Line 4 trains without passengers, so that all people involved in the new subway line get used to the operation."
Metro Line 4 is meant to directly impact Rio's traffic congestion problem as the world descends on the capital city for the Olympic Games. The project was initially expected to cost 5 billion Brazilian reais, or $1.41 billion, but ultimately ended up exceeding 9.77 billion reais, or $2.77 billion.
The line is designed to serve over 300,000 people on a daily basis.