WTC Rebuilding Updates Presented to CB1
In the quarterly update to Community Board 1’s World Trade Center (WTC) committee, the Port Authority and Silverstein Properties reported steady construction progress across the entire site -- for the first time including “Site 5,” where 130 Liberty Street deconstruction was finally completed in February 2011.
The Port Authority’s Assistant Director of WTC Construction Quentin Brathwaite told the board that his agency is actively preparing the 130 Liberty site for incorporation into the Vehicular Security Center (VSC). That work includes deep excavation, utility relocation, and gate/fence reconfiguration. Crews are also installing secants walls and piles that will allow rock removal to continue, including both hoe-ram use and blasting.
Crews are now working 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. to accelerate the VSC construction schedule. That should allow the facility to be complete in time to service 1 WTC and 4 WTC when they both open in late 2013.
At 1 WTC, the steel frame is now up to floor 62, just over halfway to its total height of 104 stories. Cladding of 1 WTC’s lower floors began last fall and is now complete from floor 20 to 29, and rising daily.
On the east side of the WTC site, the Port Authority is progressing on Transportation Hub construction. That work includes installation of four mega-columns atop which the iconic oculus will be built. Brathwaite said that some of the steel members of the oculus span as long as 30 feet, with the main hall’s total square footage amounting to the size of three football fields.
The Hub construction also extends to Battery Park City through the western concourse. Work on that pedestrian passage remains on track to open approximately 2013. That work is being coordinated with Brookfield Properties, which is building a pavilion outside the Winter Garden the concourse’s western access point.
Janno Lieber, Silverstein’s president of WTC development, reported that Tower 4 construction is on target for its December 2013 opening. Contractor Tishman Construction is now erecting one floor per week, and façade installation will start this spring. The enormous lobby also is taking shape -- ready to stand at three times the size of the lobby of 7 WTC. In addition, below-grade fit-out at 4 WTC is “well-advanced,” said Lieber, noting that extensive mechanical and plumbing systems are now in place.
At the deepest levels of the WTC site, 2 and 3 WTC steel recently began to rise from the tower footings, approximately 80 feet below street level. Lieber said that by May 2012, a decision will be made about whether or not to order steel to continue building Tower 3’s full superstructure. Until then, both Tower 2 and 3 crews will continue extensive below-grade construction.
The Port Authority also reported that the National 9/11 Memorial is visibly on track for the 9/11/11 plaza opening, with nearly 150 trees planted and several large artifacts already installed underground. Steel is now complete at the Memorial’s entry pavilion, and the glass façade is being installed ahead of schedule.
“We’re excited about what we’ve accomplished so far,” said Brathwaite. “And we’re even more excited about the progress ahead.”