April 11th - April 11th, 2008
Port Authority Issues RFP for Observation Deck
April 11- The Port Authority issued a request for qualifications for a company to design, build and operate the observation deck on the Freedom Tower. It will be constructed on the 102nd floor and is expected to open in 2012. PA Executive Director Anthony Shorris told The New York Sun, “The new tower will be an open lively public space where people can get spectacular aerial views of Manhattan as well as neighboring states.”
Memorial Reaches First Fundraising Goal
April 11- The World Trade Center Museum and Memorial Complex has reached its first fundraising goal - $350 million in private donations. The donation which helped the Memorial and Museum reach its goal was $10 million from Cantor Fitzgerald which lost 658 employees on 9/11.
PATH Church Street Entrance to Close
April 11- The 37 foot high tent which has marked the entrance of the PATH station for the past year will be folded up at midnight Friday as the entrance is closed to allow construction of the permanent hub to proceed. According to The New York Times, the tent will be replaced by a boxy structure on Vesey Street. The Port Authority said the tent will be preserved and they are exploring options for it.
MTA Owes Small Businesses
April 11- Dozens of small businesses that were evicted to make way for the Fulton Street Transit Center still have received money the MTA owes them. According to Metro, an MTA spokesman said the there are 25 outstanding relocation settlements still to be paid and he blamed paperwork and outstanding liens for the delay.
MTA Updates Progress on Fulton Transit Center
April 11- The MTA told the City Council the Fulton Transit Center project is behind schedule by at least a year. In its testimony, the MTA said aspects of the project are underway, but the project won’t be finished for another 12 to 18 months. The original completion date for the Transit Center was December of 2007. Still unknown is the fate of the glass oculus which was planned for the entrance. According to The New York Sun, the MTA has spent the last few months exploring alternatives. The MTA announced yesterday it is considering a proposal to have the Performing Arts Center, slated for the WTC site, built in place of the entrance to Fulton.
Building Material Tested
April 9 – The Freedom Tower has passed the test. According to the Port Authority, the glass sheets that will cover the building have survived the equivalent of an earthquake, a hurricane and an explosion. Two full-size mock-ups of several floors of glass and aluminum façade were subjected to intense natural forces by labs in California and Ontario. A report in The New York Times said bock mock-ups performed well. John McCullough, Project Executive for the Port Authority said, “Sometimes on these tests you have to do forensics and do corrections. Here, we had no failure at all.”
Victims Remains Identified
April 8 – The remains of four more people who died on September 11 in the attacks on the World Trade Center have been identified. Published reports say 35 year old Alejandro Castano of Englewood, New Jersey and 54 year old Ronald Keith Millstein of Queens were positively identified along with remains of two other people whose identities were not released Castano was a delivery man; Millstein worked for a temp agency on the 97th floor of the South tower.
Congestion Pricing Proposal Fails to Reach Vote
April 8 – Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan has died. The State Assembly debated the plan and determined it did not have enough support to bring it to a vote. Now, the City stands to lose $354 million in federal money which would have helped pay for new bus routes, subway expansions and other traffic mitigation measures.
Construction Costs Rise
April 7- Construction costs are expected to rise between 7% and 9.5% this year, according to a report in Crains. Construction costs soared 12% for the past three years: Crains reported that construction activity is still brisk around the city, but a slowdown could be coming over the next few months. The report predicts some contractors may find it difficult to line up more work because of the credit crunch; that will lead to more competitive bidding and lower construction costs.
WTC Site Security Being Planned
April 7 – The Daily News reports that the NYPD has a secret anti-terrorism plan for the WTC site. It says there would be approximately 25 impregnable barriers and 13 guard booths encircling the site and at least 24 blocks on 8 streets would be closed or restricted to traffic. The NYPD would say only that no decision has been made on security arrangements for the WTC site.