Board Approves Finalizing Nearly $500 Million in Freedom Tower Work; Nearly $1 Billion in Total Contract Awards Planned by Mid-2007
The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today authorized construction of the Freedom Tower, clearing the way for nearly $500 million in construction contract awards now, and up to $1 billion in total awards by the middle of this year.
During today’s meeting, the Board advanced the $2.877 billion project and also authorized 1 World Trade Center LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Port Authority, to finalize approximately $492.25 million in Freedom Tower construction and professional services contracts.
Bids for more than half of the tower construction have already been received and are within 4 percent of budget, well within planned-for contingencies common to projects of this scale.
The Board’s authorization to build the Freedom Tower follows a commitment the Port Authority made when it authorized implementation of the Conceptual Framework with Silverstein Properties on September 21, 2006, to expedite rebuilding at the World Trade Center site.
Under the agreement, the agency committed to build the Freedom Tower and Tower 5, while Silverstein Properties assumed responsibility for building Towers 2, 3 and 4.
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Last year, the Port Authority took on the enormous responsibility of building two of the biggest projects on the World Trade Center site – the Freedom Tower and Memorial – in addition to its commitment to build the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. We take our responsibilities seriously, and today’s actions are a sign of our commitment to get these projects done on schedule and in a fiscally responsible manner. The nation remains focused on our work to rebuild the site, and it is our duty to complete these massive, complex projects without delay.”
Port Authority Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris said, “The Freedom Tower project has been building momentum since the Port Authority took on the job last year, and today’s action will keep construction rolling. Major steel columns have been installed and thousands of cubic yards of concrete have already been poured for the Freedom Tower, and we are making significant progress on the foundations for the Memorial and Transportation Hub. With all of these projects taking shape, we believe this will be a banner year for the rebuilding.”
Construction of the Freedom Tower began in April 2006, with work on the tower’s footings and foundation. When opened in 2012, the tower will include 69 tenant floors, a two-level lobby, four lower- and five upper-level mechanical floors, a two-level broadcast facility, an indoor observation deck and a skyline restaurant level.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.