Date:  Jul 01, 2008

Press Release Number:  67


PORT AUTHORITY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OUTLINES FOR BUSINESS LEADERS INITIAL FINDINGS OF ASSESSMENT INTO REBUILDING OF WTC SITE

ED Christopher Ward Tells Breakfast Meeting Attendees
That First World Trade Center Rebuilding Issue has been Resolved


Port Authority Executive Director Christopher Ward told a group of downtown business leaders today that the agency has begun a new way of doing business as the World Trade Center site rebuilding moves forward, and he offered a candid and transparent assessment of the rebuilding.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting of the Downtown Alliance Downtown Lower Manhattan Association, Mr. Ward presented the assessment, which for the first time identified and detailed the key roadblocks to moving the project forward faster and more cost effectively.

In fact, Mr. Ward took the occasion to announce that the first major site issue has been resolved, telling the group that the wings of the Santiago Calatrava-designed World Trade Center Transportation Hub will not open and close - an issue that has been contemplated for over a year but not acted upon. Mr. Ward said the Port Authority and Mr. Calatrava agreed on the design change to save time and money while still preserving the overall iconic nature of Mr. Calatrava’s winged design. The decision will allow the Hub to fit more easily within the overall site and not impose on the other structures including the office towers as the wings opened and expanded.

“This is a tough choice, but it is the right choice,” Mr. Ward said. “It’s reflective of the kinds of choices we simply must make in the coming weeks and months if we are to establish priorities and milestones, to which we can be held accountable.”

Mr. Ward also emphasized that all of the World Trade Center projects will be built.

“Our report marks a new way of doing business at the Port Authority, a new way of doing business among all of the stakeholders at the World Trade Center site and, most importantly, a new way of doing business for how we manage this complex project,” Mr. Ward said. “Nothing in my assessment leads me to believe that any of these projects won’t be completed as promised. The questions are when and for how much, and that’s where this new way of doing business comes in.”

During the next several months, the Port Authority and key stakeholders will continue to closely evaluate every project on the site and ways to build them smarter, faster and more cost effectively. They will use the 15 unresolved issues and mitigation options the report lays out as their starting point.

Mr. Ward committed by the end of September to return to Governors Paterson and Corzine, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners and the general public with the second phase of this report, which will include aggressive yet realistic schedule and cost estimates for each major project that are informed by the resolutions to the fundamental outstanding issues listed in this report.

In his remarks and in the assessment, Mr. Ward also recognized the significant progress made on the site during the past 18 months since the Port Authority took control of much of the rebuilding effort.

At One World Trade Center, the Freedom Tower, seven of 24 jumbo columns that form the perimeter of the tower have been installed above street level. And the 500,000 square foot subgrade for the tower is nearly complete, which involved the installation of approximately 22,000 cubic yards of concrete and more than 1,000 tons of structural steel.

Work continues on the foundation for the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, with approximately 30,000 cubic yards of concrete poured and 910 tons of steel erected.

More than 94 percent of the foundation for the September 11 National Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center has been completed. Major work is under way on a project to preserve a piece of the existing slurry wall that will be a centerpiece of the Memorial Museum project.

The excavation of the south part of the East Bathtub for Towers 3 and 4 has been complete, and the north part of the bathtub for Tower 2 will be complete by August.

CONTACT:
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Candace McAdams, 212 435-7777, cmcadams@panynj.gov
Steve Coleman, 212 435-7777, scoleman@panynj.gov


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, Stewart International 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.