View Single Post
Old Posted Sep 26, 2008, 9:28 PM
NYC4Life's Avatar
NYC4Life NYC4Life is offline
The Time To Build Is Now
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bronx, NYC
Posts: 3,004
New York Post


Last updated: 9:57 am
September 26, 2008
Posted: 3:42 am
September 26, 2008

The World Trade Center's memorial plaza will be opened to the public in time for the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 - despite earlier warnings that the project would miss the mark, say sources familiar with the Port Authority's latest rebuilding plans.

Port officials, who have until Oct. 2 to give Gov. Paterson a new timetable for the reconstruction project, have worked out a way to complete the 6-acre memorial plaza at street level before a transit hub beneath it is finished.

"The engineering logistics involve building a roof first, then building underneath it down to the floor," said the source. At a key section at the center of the World Trade Center site, the sprawling memorial plaza extends over the massive transit hub.

Officials had believed that delays in completing the hub meant that the opening of the memorial would also be delayed, possibly by another year to two years.

An announcement several months ago that Port officials believed they wouldn't be able to complete the memorial by the 10th anniversary angered 9/11 family members and prompted Mayor Bloomberg to demand a renewed effort to speed up work.

Bloomberg is president of the memorial foundation, which has raised $350 million toward the cost of the project. Officials at the foundation have warned that delays would significantly drive up the cost of constructing the memorial.

"There are issues and details still to be worked through. We expect a plan that will complete the Memorial by 2011 and provide real assurances to the public that this date can be met," said Lynn Rasic, a spokeswoman for the memorial foundation.

The transit hub for PATH trains from New Jersey has proven to be the most difficult project at the site, with projected costs rising more than $1 billion over the initial estimate of $2.2 billion for the bird-shaped structure designed by Santiago Calatrava.

The 2011 opening of the memorial plaza would happen while most of the World Trade Center remains under construction. Sources said visitors would enter the plaza from West Street, rather than the main entry point which will eventually be on Greenwich Street.

The hub itself will include several structural changes on the lower levels, including some columns to help support the mezzanine level, which was designed by Calatrava to be an enormous open and unobstructed subterranean plaza.

Construction of the hub could take as long as mid-2013 to complete, sources said. When it was first proposed, the opening was slated for 2009 to 2010.

While the memorial plaza will be open by 2011, the below-ground features, including a museum and galleries will not be ready by the decade anniversary.

Many of the updated details of the reconstruction effort were presented to the Port Authority's board of commissioners during a closed-door executive session yesterday morning.

While hard costs have yet to be finalized, sources say the transit hub may wind up costing $2.8 billion. That would include $1.9 billion of federal transit funding.

The transit hub is the key project at the World Trade Center because it connects beneath street level with the three office towers being built by Larry Silverstein, the memorial and the Freedom Tower.

Copyright 2008 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.
"I want to wake up in the city that never sleeps"
Reply With Quote