Date:  Sep 02, 2008

Press Release Number:  97


Construction workers began to install steel today for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center, marking a key milestone in the building of the national tribute that will honor the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993.

Structural steel erection is beginning in the northeast corner of the North Tower footprint, where the north pool of the Memorial fountains will be, and will move westward over the next year, bringing the Memorial & Museum construction to street level.

Today, construction workers from Cornell & Company Inc. erected the first structural steel column, measuring 24 feet, 9 inches long and weighing 7,700 pounds. Ultimately, 9,100 tons of jumbo and structural steel will be installed for the memorial project.

National September 11 Memorial & Museum President Joseph C. Daniels said, “Last year, I saw these steel beams being fabricated in a plant in South Carolina. Seeing this steel installed on the site reminds me of the scores of dedicated workers involved in making this Memorial a reality. Working with the Port, we are moving forward aggressively with construction. While there is a lot of construction work ahead of us, we have an opportunity to see this Memorial open in time for the 10th anniversary of the attacks.”

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “The Port Authority is proud of its role in building this project of national significance. The beginning of the steel installation marks an important milestone in the Memorial’s construction, and we will continue to work aggressively to build a Memorial that honors the lives of those lost on 9/11.”

Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “The erection of steel is a key part of setting and achieving aggressive yet realistic milestones, and it’s a milestone we will build on as we work with all stakeholders to rebuild the World Trade Center site.”

To date, approximately 70 percent of construction trade contracts for the project have been awarded or have received bids.

Trucks delivered the steel columns to the World Trade Center site last Friday from a steel marshalling yard in Camden, N.J. The Owen Steel Company of Columbia, S.C., fabricated the giant steel columns under a contract awarded by the Boards of the Port Authority and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in the spring of 2007.

In August 2007, approximately 580 metric tons of jumbo steel I-beams arrived at the Port of Savannah, GA. after a 4,771-mile journey. The steel, which was milled at Arcelor Mittal in Luxembourg, was loaded onto the Marielle Bolten and transported to the United States, stopping in Philadelphia before arriving at Ocean Terminal in Georgia.

Heavy construction on the Memorial & Museum began in August 2006, with construction on the footings and foundations completed in August 2008. Work also is under way to build a new concrete slurry wall behind a section of the existing wall to allow this important piece of the original site to be displayed in the Memorial Museum. In July 2008, the first artifact was moved into the Memorial Museum when the Vesey Street Stair Remnant, known as the “Survivors’ Stairway,” was lowered to bedrock.

When completed, the approximately eight-acre Memorial & Museum complex will include a landscaped Memorial Plaza with nearly 400 trees at street level surrounding two massive pools set within the original footprints of the Twin Towers, with 30-foot waterfalls cascading down their sides. Names of the victims of the attacks in 2001 and 1993 will be inscribed around the Memorial pools. Visitors will enter the Memorial Museum through an aboveground Museum Pavilion that sits between the two pools.

In July 2006, The Port Authority and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum reached an agreement with the City and State of New York regarding construction of the Memorial and Museum. The Port Authority agreed to assume responsibility for the construction, working in partnership with the Memorial & Museum, which retained responsibility for the design, programming, and operation.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Steve Coleman or Candace McAdams, 212 435-7777

National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the WTC
Lynn Rasic or Michelle Breslauer, 212 312-8800

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.

The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is the not-for-profit corporation created to realize the Memorial quadrant at the World Trade Center site. The organization is responsible for raising the funds and overseeing the design for the project and will program and operate the Memorial & Museum located on 8 of the 16 acres of the site. The Memorial will remember and honor the nearly three thousand people who died in the horrific attacks of February 26, 1993, and September 11, 2001. The design, created by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, consists of two pools that reside in the footprints of the original Twin Towers, surrounded by a plaza of oak trees. The Arad/Walker design was selected from a design competition that included more than 5,000 entrants from 63 nations. The Museum will display monumental artifacts associated with the events of September 11, while presenting intimate stories of loss, compassion, reckoning and recovery that are central to telling the story of September 11 and its aftermath. It will communicate key messages that embrace both the specificity and the universal implications of the events of 9/11; document the impact of those events on individual lives, as well as on local, national, and international communities; and explore the continuing significance of these events for our global community. Donations can be made through and more information can be found at the Memorial & Museum’s website,, or by calling 1-877-WTC-GIVE.