Monday, February 22, 2010

The Rebuilding of Ground Zero, Part 95

Scott Pelley of CBS News takes an in depth look at the situation at Ground Zero and calls it an outrage that the situation isn't as far along as it should have been. It's a situation that I've been detailing for years. Welcome to the party pal. Where have you been? CBS News has offices uptown, but they most certainly know that Lower Manhattan is still missing the towers at Ground Zero as promised. This isn't a surprise.

What is a surprise is that it took CBS News years before they sent 60 Minutes to Ground Zero to take a look at the sorry state of affairs that I've been cataloging since before I started blogging it on A Blog For All. It's a disgrace that the Port Authority is passing the buck and blaming Larry Silverstein for delays when the Port Authority is years behind on its own schedule for rebuilding the transit hub and repeatedly delayed handing over the site in a condition suitable for rebuilding.

Silverstein had sued the Port Authority for $2.75 billion over the delays and while the court found that the Port Authority had indeed repeatedly delayed handing over the site in accordance with prior agreements, Silverstein was not entitled to damages.

Moreover, the LMDC, a public entity, has still been incapable of demolishing the former Deutsche Bank building that was severely damaged on 9/11 and it was only a few short months ago that Fiterman Hall was finally demolished after it stood hulking over the triangle in front of the newly rebuilt 7WTC, which Silverstein had rebuilt within three years time.

Each delay builds on the next, which is why fanciful schedules and timelines claiming that various components of the rebuilding will be completed come with expiration dates and probability charts. More often than not, the Port Authority will not make its deadlines, pushing the rebuilding even further into the future.

The lack of urgency in rebuilding is still omnipresent. The failure to obtain sufficient funding for this shovel ready project is also astounding. At a time when the federal government is throwing hundreds of billions of dollars around to stimulate the economy, where's the money to help rebuild Ground Zero? 4 WTC was pretty much canceled last week because of a lack of financing, which is simply unconscionable. That means that should the building be reconsidered at some point in the future, it will mean a far higher cost and inconvenience to those who commute through the site to say nothing of those who live and work in the area who have to deal with the ongoing construction that will likely continue for the foreseeable future.

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