Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Battle For Ground Zero, Part 160

Construction is expected to begin on an underground connector between the World Financial Center and the WTC complex. The connector would cross West Street and replace the North Bridge that was destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks when the Twin Towers collapsed.

Also, construction is going to begin early next year on the West Street rebuilding, which includes widening the roadway and building a new center median. The work on the two projects must be closely coordinated to make sure that traffic flows smoothly and that neither project is delayed.

The underpass is scheduled for completion in 2009.

Meanwhile, two of seven insurers have signed off on permitting insurance proceeds to be used by the Port Authority to build the Freedom Tower instead of Larry Silverstein. The other five insurers plan on suing to stop the proceeds from being used by the Port Authority. Pataki and Bloomberg are trying to get the others to follow and let the Port Authority receive the disbursements.

Plans are also being finalized for the tribute/memorial ceremony to be held on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Questions about the health of FDNY workers at Ground Zero continues to be a concern. The FDNY will expand its monitoring of firefighters health. Meanwhile, Bloomberg is calling on Gov. Pataki to veto a benefits package that would provide benefits to those workers affected by Ground Zero related illnesses. Bloomberg claims the package would be too expensive.

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