Arcos da Lapa

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Arcos da Lapa

Formerly the Aqueduto da Carioca (Carioca Aqueduct), this structure with 42 massive stone arches was built between 1744 and 1750 to carry water from the Carioca River in the hillside neighborhood of Santa Teresa to Centro. In 1896 the city transportation company converted the aqueduct, by then abandoned, into a viaduct, laying trolley tracks along it. For decades, Santa Teresa's rattling yellow street cars (the "bonde" or "bondinho") passed over the aqueduct as they carried passengers from Centro up to the hillside neighborhood of Santa Teresa. After an accident in 2011, however, when the tram's brakes failed and six passengers were killed, the bonde was shut down pending major upgrades. Many of Santa Teresa's main roads are currently being ripped up as new tramlines are laid down, and as of this writing new trams were being tested on the first section of track. The trams are expected to be in service before the 2016 Rio Olympics, although the same was said of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, a target that proved wildly optimistic.

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