At the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Games, the Olympic flag was ceremoniously passed to the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, symbolizing the fact that the 'Beautiful City' is now officially the Olympic city.

More critically, this also means that Rio has just four short years to complete its preparations for one of the world's biggest sporting events.

In order to host the 2016 Olympic Games, Rio promised, amongst other measures, to create at least 45,000 beds for visitors, a figure which means doubling the current number available, according to IBGE figures released in February this year.

As such, the construction of a new pier at the city's port has been cited as one of the most important of the 264 projects necessary for the hosting of the games, the idea being that cruise ships docking at the new six-berth pier will increase the number of beds available by 12,000.

The project was also included in a list of public works necessary for Rio to prepare itself as a host city for the 2014 World Cup, with the Ministry of Sport estimating the cost of the project at R$ 314 million (US$ 155 million).

'Invitation to Bid 006-2010', which regulates the enterprise, states that the construction process should take 34 months to complete. However, due to delays caused by the bidding procedures, the project has still yet to be contracted out, meaning that it will not be ready until at least June 2015 – one year after the World Cup.

"The bidding procedure for the work on the Port in Rio was suspended due to objections being raised, but these judicial restrictions were reverted on August 15, so hopefully we will have some positive news in the next few days," said Leonardo Luchiari, an attorney specializing in infrastructure law with Felsberg e Associados.

"All that was needed to be done for the World Cup can no longer be achieved and this same situation is now looming in relation to the 2016 Olympics in Rio," warned Leonardo.

With Rio de Janeiro starting to look more like a construction site with each passing day, there is a mixed sense of optimism and foreboding over the vast amount of work that needs to be done in the next four years.

"Maybe not everything will be ready but, one way or another, the Games will go ahead," says Leonardo.

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