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Novo Pinheiros

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Maccaferri, through its Brazilian subsidiary, is playing a major role in the significant redevelopment project of one of the most important rivers in São Paulo, which has long been threatened by human activity and unfavorable environmental conditions.

The Pinheiros River, flowing in the southwest of Brazil and originating from the confluence of the Guarapiranga River with the Grande River, is one of the major waterways crossing São Paulo. Moreover, the river, whose source is located on the left bank of the Tietê River, flows into the largest reservoir in the metropolis, the Billings Reservoir, locally called the Represa Billings, which covers an area of 127 km2 and provides water to 1.8 million people.

The river is vital for the city’s economy and livelihood, but yet extremely vulnerable at the same time.

As a metter of fact, heavy flooding, poor natural protection and harmful human activity have led over time to dangerous instability of the riverbanks, which date backe at end of the twentieth century during the city’s urbanization process. Furthermore, power transmission lines, pipelines and service roads were built on the little land left, as to allow large machinery to carry out desandeling and desilteting operations. All of this activities has contributed to further increase the erosion process, causing potential harm for the local community as well, such as the risk of instability of the high voltage towers providing the majority of the power to São Paulo.

In order to deal with this situation, in April 2021, Maccaferri Do Brasil was awarded the challenging and ambitious task of restoring the river banks. Among the solutions available on the market, the gabion system proved to be the most suitable for containing the bank erosion phenomenon: the use of gabions allowed to keep a continuous allignement in the embankment stretch on which works were carried on, while sack gabions prevented the structure from weakening. Given that the Pinheiros River water level is highly fluctuating, the highest part of the wall was coated with Reno Mattresses TM to provide protection for this portion of the bank during flooding. All the structures were made of PoliMac TM, a mesh coating material, which is key in this project due to its high resistance to water and chemical corrosion phenomena, ensuring the project’s longlasting cycle of life. Soil reinforcement and filtration were ensured by the installation of MacTexTM geotextile.

Maccaferri Do Brasil’s intervention is part of a broader project to revitalize the river, a landmark of the city, promoted by São Paulo Municipality. Launched in 2019, the “Novo Rio Pinheiros” program, established from the collaboration between several public entities and companies, under the supervision of the Secretariat of Infrastructure and Environment, aims to reduce wastewater discharged into its tributaries and improve water quality by 2022. The program will result in water pollution reduction, helping to create a welcoming environment for the river’s wildfile. Above all, it will allow the people of São Paulo to return to living and inhabiting the riverbanks, being able to count on an unprecedented landscape and urban recovery.

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Technical Highlights:

  • PoliMacTM Gabion Box = 15,000.00 m³
  • PoliMacTM Reno MattressTM 0.30m – 2,600.00 m³
  • PoliMacTM Gabion Sack – 3,550.00 m³
  • Geotextile MacTexTM H40.2 – 10,580.00 m²

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