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Designers slow down Ground Zero progress

THE $17M (£9M) groundworks contract for the World Trade Centre Memorial at New York's Ground Zero is falling behind schedule because of design changes, contractor EE Cruz has told GE.

Work on pouring 142 concrete foundations for the memorial on the footprint of the twin towers of the World Trade Centre should have started in October but had yet to start as GE went to press.

'The designers are still trying to gure out what they want to do and in the meantime we are blasting and digging and getting ready while they fine tune the design, ' said EE Cruz chief estimator Steve Molon. Molon does not want the contractor to start pouring concrete and then have to start again because of design changes.

'It's still a design in progress, ' he said. 'A lot of issues aren't finalised and we are getting little revisions here and there. For example, they've just decided that some of the original concrete slab that we were going to clear away should be kept. The last thing we want to do is build something that isn't in the final plan.'

In better news for the New Jersey based firm, it has won a £21M groundworks contract for the New Jersey Path Station and mass transit hub station at Ground Zero. It will install 459, 270mm diameter micropiles 26m deep as well as 931 tie backs. The piles and tie backs will secure the ground above while the excavation takes place. The micropiling is due to complete by the middle of next year and the tie backs by the end of 2007.

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