Mark Pagliettini is the assistant director of World Trade Center Construction with oversight responsibilities for the World Trade Center Transportation Hub.
Mr. Pagliettini has more than 20 years experience in project management and structural engineering, mostly in the design and construction of transportation projects working in the Port Authority's Engineering and World Trade Center Construction departments. He was responsible for the restoration of service to the Exchange Place and World Trade Center PATH stations and the restoration of the two PATH tunnels to and from Lower Manhattan after the 9/11 attacks.
When complete in 2013 or 2014, the Transportation Hub will be an 800,000-square-foot facility that will serve 250,000 people and more than 200,000 commuters per day. It will be the third largest transportation hub in New York City, and serve commuters via the subway, PATH and ferries from two states and all five boroughs.
Q. I've heard that the Port Authority may have to suspend service on the PATH and on the No. 1 subway line to expedite construction of the Transportation Hub. Is this true, and if so, how long will the closings last and will there be substitute transit service? - Taryn, New York, N.Y.
A. In order to ensure the safety of PATH riders and speed up construction on the site, we will need to use closures on certain weekends starting in 2009. While we don't have a precise date yet for when these outages will start (we will update our Web site when we know), the Port Authority will work closely with its regional partners to provide alternate transportation options for riders.
Q. Will there be direct underground access from the Hub to the Memorial or will I have to go to street level to get to it? - Lea, New York, N.Y.
A. There is no direct link between these two projects. The Hub will provide key links to various transportation modes, including underground connections to the Fulton Street Transit Center and to the Hudson River ferries. Access to the belowground areas of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum will be provided via the Visitors Center, located just south of the Hub.
Q. When will we be able to see retail stores opening in the Hub and in the underground passageways? - Michael, New York, N.Y.
A. The approximately 200,000 square feet of retail planned for the Hub is scheduled to open in phases coinciding with the Hub's opening sometime in 2013 or 2014.
Q. Will there be any weekday disruptions to the PATH system resulting from construction? - Tracey, Jersey City, N.J.
A. We've been very careful to make sure that we maintain service for the nearly 50,000 people who use the World Trade Center PATH station each weekday during the building of the Hub. We can't promise that there won't be some inconvenience from time to time, including changing conditions on the platform and mezzanine levels, but we fully expect that the daily service you enjoy now will not be affected throughout the duration of this project.
Q. I've read in several places that the cost of the Hub will exceed $3 billion. Why does this project cost so much money and who is paying for it? - Sloane, Santa Monica, CA.
A. The projected cost to build the Hub is tied to several factors, many of which were cited in our recent World Trade Center assessment. In general, what we are building is an 800,000 square foot hub that when complete will serve 250,000 people and be the third largest transportation hub in New York City. Our original estimates for this project were made well before final designs were complete. Today, construction and commodity price escalations are partly to blame for the $3.2 billion price tag. In addition, we've committed to additional construction on this project that will allow the Memorial to be completed sooner, and we've added $591 million in security infrastructure and $281 to build a permanent support structure for the No. 1 subway line, which runs through the Hub.
Q. I take the ferry from New Jersey and want to know how I can access the No. 4 or 5 trains to go uptown. Will there be access to these subway lines in the Hub? - Lindsay, Hoboken, N.J.
A. While there are no direct connections to the No. 4 and 5 subway lines in the Hub, this project will provide convenient, underground access to both lines at the Fulton Street Transit Center.
Q. In the Port Authority's October progress report, it stated that the wings of the aboveground oculus would be shortened on the side-facing Tower 3. Could you give the reason why this is being done? And if the wings on the Tower 3 side must be shortened for whatever reason, why doesn't the Port Authority go ahead and shorten the wings on the Tower 2 side as well in order to keep the oculus balanced and symmetric? Ryan, Jonesborough, Tennessee
A. You're correct that the wings on the south side of the aboveground oculus will be shorter. This design change was made to accommodate different design possibilities for Tower 3, which is located just south of the Hub. There was no need to change the wing design on the Tower 2 side, but the shortened wings do not alter the aesthetics of the structure.
Q. When will the Cortlandt R subway stop open again? Ilana, Brooklyn, N.Y.
A. Yes, the Cortlandt Street subway station will reopen once the Transportation Hub and office towers are completed, sometime after 2014. The station is situated in the middle of the site, and there is no access to it due to construction activities around it.
Q. I work at 3 World Financial Center across Vesey Street via the pedestrian bridge. When will the pedestrian bridge be completed, and what are the final plans? Robert, New York, N.Y.
A. The existing bridge that you're now using to cross West Street was built by the New York State Department of Transportation as a temporary crossing to replace one that was destroyed on 9/11. The Transportation Hub project includes a belowground passageway under West Street that will link the site to the World Financial Center and replace the temporary bridge. The passageway will be lined with retail and provide convenient connections to the transportation system and to the site's office buildings. If you look on our Web site -- www.wtcprogress.com -- you'll see photos of steel arches that have been installed as part of this project.
Q. I travel each day from Newark NJ to the WTC PATH Terminal. When can I expect to be riding in the new PATH cars? I see you testing them and understand there are hiccups with the cars resetting themselves when the third rail switches. Also, are the seats heated like the cars are now? Geoffrey, New York, NY
A. Geoffrey, the testing and activation of the new PATH cars is not my direct responsibility, but according to our staff at PATH, we expect to have the first new PATH train in service sometime in early 2009 after testing is complete. We know many of our customers are excited about the new cars.