The Port Authority says that its timeline to build the major components of the WTC 9/11 Memorial are on track to be open by the 10th anniversary - just over a year away - if things go as planned.
Instead of being delayed until 2013 or 2014, the World Trade Center memorial — or at least important elements of its plaza — can be opened on Sept. 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said on Thursday.However, that doesn't mean that all is well. To complete the memorial, the Port Authority and the MTA are going to have to suspend service on the 1 Line that runs through the heart of Ground Zero for several weeks so as to complete work on underpinning the subway line. PATH will also see sporadic weekend closures to get critical work done.
But in what is supposed to be the most realistic timetable and budget [Text] ever presented publicly for the rebuilding of ground zero, the authority’s executive director, Christopher O. Ward, was careful to note that even that date was not so much a guarantee as it was a reasonably confident projection, based on hard facts but also on the assumption that many things will go right from this day forward.
“This report allows us to say with certainty what we’re building, who’s building it, when it will be built and for how much,” Mr. Ward told the authority’s board of commissioners at a morning meeting.
Under the new timetable:Currently, the Freedom Tower stands at around 250 feet - or about 1/8th its ultimate height of 1,776 feet.
* The National September 11 Memorial and Museum, including the underground exhibition galleries could be completed by the first quarter of 2013, though it might be delayed until the second quarter. Much of the above-ground plaza will be ready by the third or fourth quarter of 2011. The authority did not release a budget figure for this project, but it is understood to be $610 million; $530 for the plaza and the galleries, $80 for an above-ground entrance pavilion.
* The World Trade Center Transportation Hub could be completed in the fourth quarter of 2013, though it might stretch out to the second quarter of 2014. The cost is now estimated at $3.2 billion, 50 percent higher than the original budget. When it was announced in 2004, officials said the hub, which is principally a PATH terminal, would open in 2009.
* One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower, will be completed sometime between the first and fourth quarters of 2013, five years later than originally planned, at a budget of $3.1 billion, or about three times the original estimate.
* The underground Vehicle Security Center, a series of checkpoints, ramps and roadways serving the cars and trucks coming to the trade center, can be completed in the first quarter of 2012, but no later than the third quarter of 2012. Its current cost, $633 million, is almost one-third higher than the original estimate.
* The recreation of Greenwich Street, which was eliminated by the original trade center, will be completed as early as the second quarter of 2012 or as late as the fourth quarter, at a cost of $281 million, which is under the transportation hub budget.
The former Deutsche Bank building still must be deconstructed and the demolition proceeds at a glacial pace. The pace of building Fiterman Hall isn't much faster, and the pace of construction at 4WTC, which is diagonally across from the Freedom Tower, has slowed down.
Construction is moving ahead with the Freedom Tower, including the use of a cocoon safety system that wraps the uppermost floors during construction.
At the same time, two major real estate developers are duking it out for rights to manage and market the Freedom Tower - the same Tower that the Port Authority wrested control over from Larry Silverstein. It looks like Silverstein was right all along and that the Freedom Tower is a whole lot more valuable than the Port Authority thought (and quite a bit more expensive due to all the delays due to Port Authority foot-dragging).