Construction set backs at New York's World Trade Centre

01 July 2008

Rebuilding work at New York's World Trade Centre is behind schedule and over budget, and major problems mean new cost estimates and timetable must be drawn up, according to a local news report.

In the report, New York Governor, David Paterson said firm projections for the planned memorial, museum, five skyscrapers and transit hub now will be issued at the end of September.

The report added it is too soon to say whether the Freedom Tower, which would replace the Twin Towers in the Manhattan skyline, will have to be scaled back.

The Freedom Tower, the centrepiece of the rebuilding effort, had been due for completion in 2011 and will be the tallest building in the US.

The report said that Mr Paterson spoke to reporters after the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency that owns the site, issued a report he commissioned because he feared the projects would take longer and cost more than his predecessors predicted.

Only part of the memorial will be completed by the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the report said. That anniversary had been the previous deadline for unveiling the memorial featuring two reflecting pools marking the outlines of each of the Twin Towers.

However, developer Larry Silverstein said three adjacent skyscrapers on the 6.5 ha site will be completed on time by 2012.

The project's US$ 14 billion cost is rising as commodity prices soar and the 19 federal, state and city agencies that are all involved fail to solve problems, according to the report.

These range from how many trees the memorial should have to demolishing the nearby Deutsche Bank building, which was badly damaged in the attacks but still standing.

In the report, Chris Ward, the Port Authority's new executive director, warned compromises would have to be made as projects are assigned new priorities. Mr Paterson said it was too late to redraw plans that have already been revised several times.

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