Monday, November 21, 2011

The Rebuilding of Ground Zero, Part 150

Should it surprise anyone that the Port Authority and WTC Memorial Foundation are squabbling about cost overruns and payments to the point of throwing a proposed September 2012 opening date for the museum in jeopardy?
The PA "stopped approving new contracts and extensions of existing contracts" on construction at the site in September, because they claim the foundation owes them $156 million. Meanwhile the foundation and the city charge that the PA owes them more than $100 million "on account of delays." Plus, neither side can agree on who will pay the $300 million security costs the site will incur. Bloomberg's spokesperson indicated that the mayor's office is "confident" that the disputes will be ironed out, but monetary disputes have plagued the project since its inception.
The Port Authority has dragged its feet at every opportunity on the rebuilding project, all while the one part of the project that is wholly within Port Authority aims, the PATH terminal/track rebuilding, is so far over budget as to be laughable.

It's fought with Larry Silverstein over rebuilding the towers and getting sites prepared in a timely fashion for Silverstein to proceed.

It's fought with the church leaders for the St. Nicholas Church, which was destroyed on 9/11.

It's had issues with the NYPD over security arrangements for the site after the site opens to the public.

All the agency seems to want to do is protect its own turf, rather than build stuff and make sure that its projects are done on budget and on schedule.

The in-fighting and squabbles with various parties only serve to increase the costs and delay the rebuilding further.

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