This week’s seven-component cover story package on Brazilian infrastructure complements the Top International and Top Global Contractors lists. Six Brazilian companies, four contractors and two design firms, made the 2012 rankings.

In June, ENR News Director Andrew Wright spent two weeks traveling around the country with Augusto Diniz, managing editor of O Empreiteiro, an engineering and construction magazine based in Sao Paolo. For several years the two publications have shared editorial content, translating stories into English and Portuguese.

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ENR News Director Andrew G. Wright on site in Brazil shooting video.

“Traveling with Augusto was a pleasure,” says Wright. “Although many project managers speak English, many felt more comfortable conversing in Portuguese with a fellow Brazilian. At the end of the day, we’d transcribe the interviews, and I believe we got a much more nuanced, unvarnished account than if I’d been working alone.”

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O Empreiteiro Managing Editor Augusto Diniz helped Wright get unvarnished accounts.

The joint-venture approach also gave Wright the opportunity to shoot video during interviews. “We didn’t have the capability the last time I was in Brazil, in 1997.” Wright says. “Our website videos add a new dimension to our storytelling.”

In 1997, Brazil saw public-private partnerships as a means of closing a yawning infrastructure gap in highways and water and wastewater treatment.  President Dilma Rousseff is expanding the concept to other sectors, but it won’t be easy.