Work on the Dey Street connector proceeds on both sides of West Street
The latest rebuilding news from the World Trade Center (WTC) was presented to Community Board 1 this week. The Port Authority, addressing the WTC committee, reported that visible progress on each of its projects continues, and assured the board that each one is fully funded on schedule according to the “Road Map” that was issued in October 2008.
Quentin Brathwaite, the Port Authority’s assistant director of WTC Construction, began the presentation at the rising Tower 1 site. Steel there is now at the equivalent of the 28th floor, with steel perimeter columns soon to be installed for floors 29 and 30. The safety cocoon that wraps the building’s upper floors will move upward as each floor is added.
He also noted that the Subway restaurant, located in a trailer beneath one of the tower cranes, is saving workers significant time entering and exiting the work site on their lunch breaks. The restaurant is fully outfitted, and its trailer rises with the structure.
Just south of 1 WTC, the National 9/11 Memorial construction is steady. Brathwaite said that the granite panels that line each reflecting pool have made notable progress, and that tree plantings will begin in September 2010.
Around the Memorial site, the chiller plant and vent structures are being built out for what will eventually be the entire WTC site’s cooling system.
In the area of the South Bathtub, which will serve as the entry to the Vehicular Security Center, about one-third of the mass excavation is complete. As it proceeds, tiebacks are being installed through the slurry wall, which will keep the bathtub intact as soil is removed.
“There’s yet another layer of coordination in partnership with the state DOT (Department of Transportation), which is performing utility work that feeds the area,” said Brathwaite. He explained that as the South Bathtub excavation continues the two agencies will work closely to accommodate trucks to the area, while ensuring progress on the West Street Promenade 2 project.
The Promenade project also is a major factor in the Port’s “east-west connector” construction. Connector work already has shifted lanes to accommodate excavation across West Street, and the state DOT is coordinating work between Liberty and Vesey Street on a separate schedule from the Promenade sections north and south of the WTC area.
The connector’s concourse, west of West Street, is fully outfitted with architect Santiago Calatrava’s iconic “ribs.” Similar swooping steel ribs are consistent structural elements throughout the WTC Transportation Hub, which has shifted from site preparation to actual construction in the past few months. There in the East Bathtub the WTC’s largest crane is parked atop a new concrete pad, and concrete footings are being prepared for steel installation.
Excavation under the 1-train subway box also is continuing, serving as a boundary between the east and west bathtubs -- though eventually the VSC will tie the entire site together underground. Greenwich Street, above that subway line, ultimately will be reconstructed (and potentially restored to traffic), along with Fulton Street and Cortlandt Way.
Brathwaite said that the Port Authority expects both labor and trucking demand to peak at the WTC site in the coming year. However, its estimates don’t include demand from Towers 2 and 3, which are being built by Silverstein Properties. With Silverstein construction plans factored in, the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center predicts peak demand south of Canal Street around late 2011.
The Port also continues to monitor and adjust pedestrian circulation and safety plans around the WTC site. And responding to a CB1 question, Brathwaite noted that footings for the future Performing Arts Center are part of the work taking place near the temporary PATH station (at Vesey and West Broadway), but that construction cannot begin in earnest until the Hub opens in late 2013.
Finally, early next month the agreement between the Port and Silverstein is expected to be completed and announced. It will make official the “development framework” put forth by the two companies following their arbitration, and finalizes plans for Towers 2 and 3 to be built to grade, and possibly to full height depending on local economic factors.