Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Rebuilding of Ground Zero, Part 79

The pace of construction at the Freedom Tower (1WTC) continues at a glacial pace, and that may be the result of an NYPD crackdown on concrete trucks heading to the site. They're checking them over to see if they're violating weight restrictions, which means that the trucks are delayed and the concrete begins to set ruining the batch.

It means that the pace of the construction is progressing far slower than the pace of other construction projects around the City, including the recently completed Goldman Sachs building across the street or the Trump building in SoHo, which Donald Trump claims rose 4 stories a week (and which saw a construction worker fall to his death when the concrete forms gave way).

However, the construction is moving ahead, and the outer ring of steel supports gives onlookers an insight into the size of the footprint of the building.

One thing that strikes me as odd is just how close the Freedom Tower is to Vesey Street. You notice this most starkly when walking down the path along the North side of Ground Zero. Prior to 9/11, Vesey allowed vehicular traffic to flow past. After the attacks, no vehicles were allowed, and pedestrian traffic flows down the corridor to the PATH temporary station.

There was quite a bit of discussion over how close the Freedom Tower was to traffic on West Street, but it appears that Vesey will never be reopened to vehicle traffic from the looks of it. All the talk of reestablishing the street grid through the site was nonsensical from any number of perspectives, the least of which was the security concern of truck and car traffic through the site. It also meant that valuable acreage would be taken away from the memorial, museum, and the office towers to reestablish the street grid, which will likely never be used for vehicular traffic.

Meanwhile, the Port Authority continues to entertain requests from around the country for items recovered from Ground Zero for incorporation into memorials around the country. Carson City, Nevada is the latest to consider such a request.

The Tribute in Light, which is one of the most well-known tributes in the NY metro area is in doubt. The funding for the light installation has run out, and there's no word on whether funding can be found for next year.

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