Project Spotlight: São Paulo metro line No. 17

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

São Paulo city's CMSP metro line No. 17 (gold line) in the Brazilian metropolis' southern region should be up and running by the end of 2018. Construction, however, has not been without its problems.

Completion of the monorail was originally postponed from May 2014 to December 2017 and now it is expected to be ready in 2018. As for cost, its budget – in local currency – has jumped 59% to 5.1bn reais (US$1.55bn) from 3.2bn reais. However, US in dollars cost is about the same.

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Factors behind the increase and delays are the following: an explosive device planted at the construction site; a fatal accident; a health and safety investigation; strikes over worker safety and wages; complaints by the consortium of late payments; and corruption investigations.

Once operating, the eight-station line will span 7.7km from Congonhas airport to state metropolitan urban railway operator CPTM's line no. 9 in the Morumbi neighborhood. It should handle nearly 230,000 passengers a day.

Fatal accident in June 2010 (CREDIT: Agência Brasil).


The original contractor to build the line was the Monotrilho Integração consortium made up of local construction companies Andrade Gutierrez, CR Almeida and MPE, along with Malaysia's Scomi Engineering.

In December 2015, work stopped following a dispute between the metro company and the consortium. The latter claimed that it had not been paid on time and that this was creating extra expenses which it needed compensating for.

After the consortium breached the contract terms by abandoning the works site, the metro company ended up voiding the contract in January 2016.

The runner-up in the bidding process – a consortium composed of local companies Mendes Júnior and Heleno & Fonseca Construtécnica – was invited to finish the work.

However, it was banned shortly after as the former was targeted by the federal police's Lava Jato corruption probe.

São Paulo metro line No. 17 jobsite (CREDIT: Agência Brasil).

In April, Brazil's corruption control department CGU deemed Mendes Júnior unfit to participate in public works and the contract was awarded to the TIDP consortium made up of local construction companies Tiisa-Infraestrutura e Investimentos and DP Barros Pavimentação e construção.

The new contractor resumed work in June with expectations of wrapping up the 30-month project by the end of 2018.


In 2016, São Paulo state government started preparing a tender for a 15.9bn-real concession to operate the line together with subway line No. 5 (lilac line). A tender for the public-private partnership – which included the 20-year operation and maintenance of the two lines as well as expansion plans and improvement works – was launched in late March.

Proposals must be submitted before an auction planned for July 4 at the São Paulo stock exchange Bovespa is held.