The road link has been seen as key to reducing travel times between Barra and Deodoro ©Rio City Hall/Beth Santos

A 26-kilometre road between the Rio 2016 Olympic clusters in Barra and Deodoro has been inaugurated in the Brazilian city ahead of the Games.

Named the Transolímpica, the road has been touted as key to cutting journey times between major Olympic locations for athletes, fans and officials.

Journey times between Deodoro and Recreio to the west of Barra are expected to be reduced by 60 per cent.

The use of the road will be restricted throughout the duration of the Games, with only athletes, Rio 2016 workers and other people with credentials allowed access.

Spectators with the RioCard travel card will also be able to use the new road, which includes a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) expressway to be used exclusively by articulated buses.

Around 70,000 people are expected to use the BRT service every day when it is fully operational, while an estimated 55,000 vehicles will drive on the road.

Construction of the transport link began in July 2012 with the BRT corridor and the road, which has two lanes for other vehicles in each direction, ultimately costing 2.2 billion reals (£500 million/$670 million/€600 million) to build.

"It is one of the main Olympic legacies,” claimed Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes at the inauguration.

The new link includes a Bus Rapid Transit expressway which is claimed will be used by 70,000 people ©Getty Images
The new link includes a Bus Rapid Transit expressway which is claimed will be used by 70,000 people ©Getty Images

Travel times between Barra and Deodoro are considered an important challenge for Rio 2016, with the former hosting 16 Olympic and nine Paralympic sports, as well being the location of the Main Press Centre and the International Broadcast Centre.

The Deodoro Olympic Park will host 11 Olympic events, including rugby sevens, BMX cycling, hockey, canoe slalom, shooting and equestrian.

Another key transport link, the much-delayed metro line four, is currently being tested ahead of the Games.

The line is due to link the main Olympic hub at Barra de Tijuca with the city centre and is currently set to open just three days before the Opening Ceremony.

It has been touted as a key legacy project for Rio.