Date:  Dec 09, 2008

Press Release Number:  146


The 460-foot-long ramp that has served as the conduit for thousands of 9/11 victims family members and notable leaders to go from street level to bedrock at the World Trade Center site will be removed beginning this weekend to make way for continued rebuilding of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

Starting this Saturday, December 13, the Port Authority will begin to dismantle the ramp to allow the steel installation for the Memorial and Museum to progress. The ramp must be removed since it sits in the middle of the Memorial quadrant, a critical location required for the cranes erecting steel. The steel for the northeast section of the Memorial has already reached street level.

It will take approximately a month for the ramp to be completely removed.

Because of the ramp’s historical significance to the World Trade Center clean-up effort, the rebuilding, and 9/11 anniversary commemorations, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum intends to preserve a section of the ramp as part of the Museum’s permanent collection.

The ramp was completed in March 2002 following the removal of debris from the 80-foot-deep World Trade Center basement resulting from the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11. Prior to the ramp’s construction, crews used muddy roads supported by packed debris to access the subgrade levels.

Installation of the ramp, which is composed of five spans supported by five concrete piers, allowed recovery workers and construction crews and vehicles to easily access the below-grade areas of the site during the final recovery efforts, the subsequent rebuilding of the temporary World Trade Center PATH Station, and the initial construction work on the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. The ramp was designed with a loading capacity to accommodate construction equipment in excess of 90,000 pounds.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, "This ramp is a link to the site's past, but now we're rapidly moving to the future and building a project we believe will make all of us proud, and honor the memories of those who were lost. We will remain focused on the construction work that remains to fulfill our commitment to have the Memorial's plaza finished by the 10th anniversary of 9/11."

Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “As important as the ramp has been to the rebuilding, its absence represents progress and a real step forward. It means steel is going up and it means the 9/11 Memorial is that much closer to completion.”

“Since 2002, the ramp has provided access to the site for recovery, clean-up and construction,” National September 11 Memorial & Museum President Joe Daniels said. “Its use, in particular, on 9/11 anniversaries to bring people to bedrock has been an important part of personal and collective commemoration. The removal is a major step forward in constructing the Memorial and it reminds us of the sacrifices of thousands, united in their efforts to assist in the aftermath of the attacks. Given the historical importance of the ramp, we are planning to incorporate a portion of it in the Memorial Museum’s permanent collection.”

In early September, the first pieces of steel were erected for the Memorial project, and since that time, more than 600 tons of steel have been installed.

As the Memorial rises to street level, workers will access the below-ground area via staircases, and equipment and materials will be delivered via cranes.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Candace McAdams, 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 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.