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World Trade Center transport hub remains £400M over budget

The transport hub at the World Trade Center (WTC) site in New York still remains £400M over budget despite attempts to curb escalating costs, it has been revealed.

The major transport hub runs underneath the WTC site, connecting rail and subway lines with buildings now under construction on the WTC site. These include five major skyscrapers and a 9/11 memorial.
The ambitious and iconic entrance to the hub - has been scaled back, but the project will still cost £1.8bn.

The Calatrava designed entrance structure has interlocking white ribs that were designed to open and close like birds wings but these will now be fixed and the wings trimmed.

Other cost saving measures include replacing longspan vierendeel trusses with columns and beams sation in an attempt to simplify the structure of the underground station and reduce risk.

This also allows the ground level slab level to be built first, helping with the building of the Memorial plaza which sits above the station.
According to an assessment carried out by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) in June the memorial would not have finished until 2013 or 2014, but will now finish in 2011, just three months behind the original schedule.

The cost cutting and time saving measures were imposed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ). It has set new target dates and budgets for the WTC projects after it was asked to look at what was holding the projects up by New York Governor David Paterson.

In July it blamed a lack of high level decision making for the delays and identified 15 areas which needed looking at. According to the report, these issues have now been dealt with and the new programme and budgets set in the report are possible.

“This report allows us to say with certainly what we’re building, who’s building it, when it will be built and for how much,” said Port Authority executive director Chris Ward.

“By working with our project partners to resolve all 15 fundamental issues, we’ve brought a level of certainty and control that this rebuilding effort has been missing for too long.”

The report also reveals that the 541m Freedom Tower has been pushed back six months and now runs at a cost of £1.8bn, compared to its budget of £1.7bn in November 2006. The delay has been blamed on the complexity of building on top of an active transport system.

The project manager of the Freedom Tower defended the programme of works on the towers against public criticism that progress is slow.

“Despite the fact that it does look like nothing much is going on, all the work has been happening below ground,” said Skidmore, Owings and Merrill director and project manager Ken Lewis.

“For instance, at One World Trade Center [Freedom Tower] the steel frame and reinforced concrete core are well out of the ground and work is on track.”

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