Minhocão (São Paulo)

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Via Elevada "Presidente João Goulart"
Minhocão alongside buildings
Route information
Length: 3.5 km (2.2 mi)
Existed: 1970 – present
Major junctions
South end: Praça Roosevelt - Rua da Consolação in São Paulo
West end: Largo Padre Péricles - Avenida Francisco Matarazzo in São Paulo
Highway system
Highways in Brazil
Minhocão with Edifício Copan building in background
Minhocão along Largo do Arouche plaza, seen from the Edifício Itália

The Minhocão, officially "Via Elevada Presidente João Goulart", is a 3.5-kilometre (2.2-mile) elevated highway in São Paulo, Brazil. The highway was inaugurated in 1969 as Elevado Presidente Costa e Silva; its name was changed in 2016 after a law was passed changing names of all streets honoring people involved with the Brazilian military dictatorship.[1] Between 21:30 and 06:30 on weekdays and all day on Sundays, the highway is closed to car traffic, allowing dedicated use by pedestrians and cyclists. The road is named after the minhocão, a quasi-fictitious earthworm-like creature. Local urban planners have long advocated tearing down the road in order to promote urban renewal.[2][3]


In 1969, an elevated roadway was proposed by the administration of São Paulo Mayor Paulo Maluf to help relieve traffic congestion in central São Paulo.[4] Work on the highway, the largest infrastructure project of its time in Latin America, was completed in 1970.[2]

Because of the noise and disturbance caused to residents—in many places the roadbed passes within 5 metres (15 feet) of apartment windows—in 1976 the municipal administration decided to close the highway to automobile traffic on Sundays and holidays. In the 1990s, residents and the administration also brokered an agreement to close the highway between the hours of 21:30 and 06:30.[5]

Current use[edit]

On weekdays, traffic volume on the elevated roadway exceeds 80,000 vehicles per day.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

The highway's accessibility for videography has been featured extensively in Brazilian cinema, including the film Foreign Land, and in several English-language films, including Blindness and a segment of All the Invisible Children directed by Kátia Lund.[6]


  1. ^ "Lei que muda nome do Minhocão para Elevado João Goulart é sancionada" (in Portuguese). 2016-07-25. Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  2. ^ a b c Gossman, Christina (18 May 2012). "Finding relief in the world's most congested city: a Sunday afternoon on São Paulo's Minhocão". Atlantic Cities. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  3. ^ Au, Bryant (7 June 2012). "nhocão - São Paulo's "Big Worm""". Congress for the New Urbanism. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  4. ^ Paulo Maluf anuncia construção do Minhocão [Paulo Maluf announces the construction of the Minhocão] (Motion picture) (in Portuguese). São Paulo. 1969. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Stiphany, Kristine (4 June 2013). "Focus on Brazil: The Minhocão". Deep Focus. University of Texas. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  6. ^ Pinazza, Natália (2013). "Transnational Minhocão". In Pinazza, Natália; Bayman, Louis. World Film Locations: São Paulo. Intellect Books. ISBN 9781783200290.