NY Governor Calls for WTC Progress Review

The World Trade Center development is behind schedule and will miss its June 20 deadline for finishing Tower 2’s foundation excavation, the Port Authority has reported. As a result, it will pay from $9 million to $18 million to Larry Silverstein, the WTC developer, it has announced. The PA had already missed deadlines on two other WTC sites, and turned over $13 million to Silverstein. And New York’s new governor, David Paterson, has had enough.Late yesterday he sent a letter to Chris Ward, the new executive director of the Port Authority, calling for a complete audit of the schedule and budget for rebuilding the World Trade Center site. He demanded the assessment be delivered no later than June 30th. In his letter to Ward, Paterson stressed his pledge to be candid and upfront with New York’s citizenry and to that end said, “In the past two years the site has made progress – from a virtual complete stop to a burgeoning construction site. Yet despite the progress made so far, it has become clear that the overall project faces likely delays and cost overruns. In fact, recently the announcement came that the second consecutive deadline for the Port Authority to complete excavation work in the East Bathtub will be missed by a few weeks, with some schedule and cost impacts.” He made clear that he feels that “a comprehensive assessment to determine if the current schedules and cost estimates for reconstruction are reliable and achievable,” is a must and asked for both the review and, should plans prove unrealistic, “an evaluation of what viable alternatives exist to get the project back on track or whether we need to alter our targets to meet the reality on the ground.” In response to the new governor’s calling to account, World Trade Center Properties President Janno Lieber voiced support, both for the Authority and for the Governor’s call to action, “The Port Authority is making steady progress in constructing a new bathtub at the site of future World Trade Center Tower 2 at 200 Greenwich Street. Everyone at Silverstein Properties is eager to start select work in July and looking forward to expanding over the entire Tower 2 site later this summer.”