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The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today authorized a spectacular World Trade Center Transportation Hub project, clearing the way for a September 6 groundbreaking on a project that will reconnect and expand links between the PATH rapid-transit system, all downtown subway lines and the World Financial Center Ferry Terminal via underground passageways.
The Federal Transit Administration has committed approximately $1.92 billion towards the $2.21 billion project, designed by Santiago Calatrava, a world-renowned architect.
During a presentation to the Board, Mr. Calatrava discussed the current design for the terminal, which has remained largely intact from the initial concept he proposed 18 months ago. Some refinements have been made, including the hardening of the base of the terminal’s transit hall that abuts Church Street; the redesign of one of the terminal entrances to allow the existing entrance to the E subway – which survived the 9/11 attacks – to remain intact; and the elimination of a pedestrian connection of the south corridor that extended under Church Street to Liberty Park. The remaining east/west and north/south pedestrian connections have been maintained in the project.
New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “This grand pavilion will be one of several architectural icons that will grace New York’s downtown skyline by the end of this decade, signaling to the world that we have overcome the terrorists who sought to break our spirit. It will provide an emotional lift for Lower Manhattan and will help boost the region’s economy with total economic activity projected at $3.7 billion.”
Acting New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey said, “This new facility will serve as a gateway for thousands of New Jersey residents traveling to and from New York each day, providing critical links between subways and ferries to the east and west, and TriBeCa and the Wall Street Financial District to the north and south – and most importantly – making commutes better for up to 250,000 people a day.”
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Aside from the Memorial, one of our most important priorities at the World Trade Center site is to create a world-class transportation network that will serve the millions of people who travel to the area each year for work or pleasure. This visionary project is a key component of our 10-year strategic plan because it will greatly improve travel for New Jersey and New York residents by providing seamless connections to PATH trains, city subways, ferries and the Financial District.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “Providing this transportation hub is critical to the economic recovery of Lower Manhattan. The substantial financial investment we will make in this project will benefit tens of thousands of commuters each day. This project alone will provide more than $650 million in wages and salaries and thousands of good-paying jobs at a time when Lower Manhattan is rebounding from the terrible attacks of 9/11.”
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “This project ultimately will be viewed as a historic, signature project for the Port Authority, an agency that has shown a ‘can-do’ attitude by rebuilding a temporary PATH station at the World Trade Center site ahead of schedule and by building several other major transportation projects that are known around the world. We are confident that this project will be built on schedule, providing our customers with an easy, convenient way to travel to and from the downtown area.”
Initial site preparation work on the transportation hub will include the construction of a temporary track to the west of the existing temporary PATH station, allowing work to be staged while PATH service continues uninterrupted. Work on the terminal’s east/west concourse is scheduled to begin in 2006.
The transportation hub will be operational in 2009 and eventually will serve more than 80,000 daily PATH riders. The terminal will be a full-service regional transportation hub that will feature seamless pedestrian connections to existing and future transportation infrastructure, such as ferry service at the World Financial Center and Metropolitan Transportation Authority subway lines. The hub also will be able to accommodate other potential transportation infrastructure, such as a proposed rail service to John F. Kennedy International Airport and Long Island.
Today’s Board authorization includes $221 million for work to be done in conjunction with the World Trade Center Transportation Hub project, including the construction of an east bathtub, a liner for the slurry wall in the west bathtub and the hardening of the hub’s east/west corridor under Fulton Street. Funded by the Federal Transit Administration, this work also will support other projects on the site, in addition to the transportation hub.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.