Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Rebuilding of Ground Zero, Part 167

Fiterman Hall is nearly complete. The exterior is essentially completed and interior spaces are being prepared for a fall opening. That's tremendous news for the CCNY, which has been craving the space since they were forced out after 9/11 left the original building seriously damaged and contaminated.

Meanwhile, Santiago Calatrava's signature PATH transit hub should start to rise above street level in coming weeks. The final shape of the structure has been completed, and while it will be several more years before it is fully open to the public, the nearly $4 billion hub is making progress.

If that $4 billion figure seems high, it should. The transit hub was originally expected to cost $2.2 billion, but has steadily risen even as the delays have mounted.

The costs for the transit hub are one of the main reasons that the Port Authority has needed to raise tolls and fares - it's a huge blow to its budget and it has to recoup those costs. AAA has been suing the Port Authority claiming that the toll hikes were being used to fund rebuilding of non-transportation components of the rebuilding efforts.

Work on the Vehicle Security Center, which is being built on the site of the former Deutsche Bank Building is continuing as steel is being erected below street level (and partially visible from PATH as it winds underground adjacent to the work site.

That comes as 4WTC has been topped out and work is progressing elsewhere on the site except at the WTC museum, which continues to be subject to ongoing acrimony between the memorial foundation and the Port Authority. The fighting comes amid yet more demands that the National Park Service take over the memorial and museum operations, and that's a move that I'd fully support - though I still blame the Port Authority for the ongoing delays at the museum and elsewhere on the site.

Elsewhere near the World Trade Center, a Morton's Steakhouse will be coming to 130 Cedar Street, which overlooks the Trade Center site.

In more ominous news, Egypt's newly elected President, Mohamad Morsi is reportedly expected to call for the release of 1993 WTC Bombing mastermind Sheikh Abdel Rahman.

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