A comprehensive WTC-redevelopment assessment is due by September 30th
In its quarterly World Trade Center (WTC) rebuilding update to Community Board 1 on September 8th, the Port Authority said its mass excavation of the “east bathtub” is expected to wrap up in the coming weeks.
Assistant Director of Priority Capital Programs Quentin Brathwaite reported that the WTC Tower Two site is in the final excavation phase, and will be turned over to developer Silverstein Properties likely by late September. The original June 30th turnover deadline was missed, he said, because the site’s dense rock took more time to remove than anticipated.
Silverstein crews are already at work preparing the Towers Three and Four sites for foundation work 85 feet below grade, with some concrete installation at the floor of “T4” underway as of last month. The Port also is performing final excavation of the “T4 sliver,” located at the southwest side of the east bathtub. That sliver was separated from the main T4 site since crews had to support the 1 train box below Greenwich Street to excavate around and under it.
Between the T3 and T2 sites, Port Authority crews are now demolishing the temporary PATH station within the east bathtub. Removal of that structure makes way for construction of Santiago Calatrava’s WTC Transportation Hub.
Meanwhile, nearly 50,000 daily PATH riders continue to use the temporary station on Vesey Street at West Broadway. Braithwaite said that the Port is working with the city Department of Transportation to potentially close the Vesey Street walkway between Church Street and West Broadway. The closure would ensure pedestrian safety as work ramps up at the T2 site, and make more room for construction staging on the bathtub’s north side.
Though the walkway closure is still tentative, the agencies would expand sidewalks and make other improvements on West Broadway, Barclay Street, and Church Street to accommodate increased pedestrian flow.
Braithwaite also reported on National 9/11 Memorial construction progress on the WTC’s southwest 6.5 acres. Steel installation began there last week, and crews continue building the liner wall that reinforces the slurry wall, which will be exposed in the memorial’s underground space.
North of the memorial site, prefabricated steel arches were installed this summer as part of the transportation hub’s “east-west connector” -- creating the first glimpse of Calatrava’s undulating “ribs” that form the hub’s trademark architecture. Work on the connector will continue under West Street to the World Financial Center, with additional traffic-lane shifts planned for the coming year.
Beside the connector, the base of the Freedom Tower can be seen from street level, with 95 percent of below-grade steel now in place.
The Port Authority plans to present Governor David Paterson with a comprehensive WTC-redevelopment assessment by September 30th. That report is expected to detail a realistic budget and revised timeline for constructing the 16-acre site’s multiple overlapping projects.