Date:  Oct 02, 2008

Press Release Number:  107


Resolution of 15 Issues Identified in June Assessment

Significantly Mitigates Completion Dates and Budgets

World Trade Center Memorial Plaza, Including Names, Complete by 9/11/11

The Port Authority today delivered a detailed report outlining a comprehensive road map that will guide the ongoing rebuilding of the World Trade Center site, and bring a new level of certainty and control to the complex project.

The report from Executive Director Chris Ward sets a new timetable for completion of One World Trade Center, the Freedom Tower and all of the site's public infrastructure.

  • One World Trade Center, the Freedom Tower, is scheduled for completion between the second and fourth quarters of 2013, at a cost of $3.1 billion.

  • The World Trade Center Memorial Plaza, including the inscribed names of the victims from the attacks on September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993, is scheduled for completion by September 11, 2011. Some street-level landscaping will be completed later. The underground museum portion of the project will be completed between the first and second quarters of 2013.

  • The World Trade Center Transportation Hub will be completed between the fourth quarter of 2013 and the second quarter of 2014, at a cost of $3.2 billion.

  • A new Greenwich Street - the front door to Towers 2, 3 and 4, and a key access point to the Memorial - will be completed between the second and fourth quarters of 2012, years before the Port Authority anticipated. This new timetable was facilitated, among other solutions, by an innovative approach for the underpinning of the No. 1 subway line running below Greenwich Street through the site during construction.

  • The Vehicle Security Center, which will serve as the underground access point for the commercial development on the site, will be completed between the first and third quarters of 2012, at a cost of $633 million.

The revised timeline and budgets are the result of extensive, intense efforts during the past three months to look at every element of every project with the goal of providing aggressive yet realistic schedules and budgets. All of the major stakeholder groups on the site were brought together under the World Trade Center Steering Committee, a new governance structure that guided the findings of the report.

The report outlines resolutions of 15 key issues that have hindered rebuilding progress in the past, and for the first time provides intermediate milestones and will allow the public to track progress on the site.

Following are some of the report's key findings:

  • The Memorial Plaza will be open by September 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. To make this commitment, the Port Authority developed a construction solution that allows the roof of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub's mezzanine to be built first instead of last as had been originally programmed. That roof will serve as the floor of the Memorial Plaza and allow the project to be accelerated.

  • Due to active, ongoing construction that will occur on the World Trade Center site after 2011, the Port Authority will work with the Memorial Foundation and the City of New York to ensure safe, controlled access to the Memorial after September 11, 2011.

  • Construction of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub has been significantly simplified through the strategic placement of columns and other conventional elements, while retaining the iconic design of architect Santiago Calatrava. This simplified design will save time, money and reduce construction risk.

  • The increased cost of One World Trade Center, the Freedom Tower, is due to price escalation and project changes, including increasing the size of the observation deck from one to two levels and reducing the restaurant to one level to accommodate the projected number of visitors to the rooftop location.

  • A series of resolutions, including the settling of a land claim with St. Nicholas Church and a security agreement with the City of New York, that will allow the Vehicle Security Center to be built in a more timely fashion.

The report also committed to continued public accountability on the rebuilding, for the first time offering a series of intermediate milestones that need to be met to deliver the projects by their revised completion dates, and noting that the Port Authority would establish mechanisms for clear public reporting against these milestones as the rebuilding progresses.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, "Today's report builds on previous efforts by the Port Authority to conduct our business with transparency and accountability to the public we serve. We have made substantial progress in rebuilding the World Trade Center site since we took over lead construction responsibility in September 2006, and now through the agency's hard work, we have certainty and control over this complex project. On behalf of the Board of Commissioners, I'd like to thank Executive Director Ward, the entire Port Authority staff, and all of our project partners for their incredibly hard work and progress over these last three months."

Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, "This report allows us to say with certainly what we're building, who's building it, when it will be built and for how much. By working with our project partners to resolve all 15 fundamental issues, we've brought a level of certainty and control that this rebuilding effort has been missing for too long.

Going forward, with this new level of certainty and with our continued commitment to be open, honest and accountable, I am confident that we can deliver on the promise of a rebuilt World Trade Center and a renewed Lower Manhattan."

Significant Progress

The assessment report also recognized the significant progress made on the site since the initial report was issued in June.

Since June, the first of the 8,650 tons of jumbo and structural steel have been installed for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum; all 47 steel arches that form the underground East-West passageway were installed; and the excavation for Towers 2, 3 and 4 has been substantially completed.

No. 1 Subway/PATH Necessary Outages

The report also highlighted a decision that will have an impact on riders on the #1 and PATH to World Trade Center. In order to speed completion of the Cortland Street Station, the #1 underpinning and the Transportation Hub, the #1 subway line and PATH to World Trade Center will experience service interruptions beginning in 2009.

Specifically, the service interruptions on the #1 will include the line terminating at Chambers Street for six weeks in the summer of 2010, and potentially for some period in 2009. The PATH to World Trade Center will be closed on numerous weekends, beginning in 2009 and lasting until 2011.

The Port Authority said it will work with the MTA and PATH to mitigate the impact of the service interruptions on riders.

The assessment report was requested by New York Gov. David Paterson to identify key roadblocks to moving forward the World Trade Center rebuilding in a faster and more cost effective way. The initial assessment, released in June, laid out 15 unresolved issues that would need to be addressed before accurate schedules and budgets could be developed.

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

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 an