Report Raises Security Concerns for WTC Site, New Court Ruling Cuts Claim Amount

Glass towers positioned too closely to the street and gaps that may exist in on-site vehicle inspection are two security concerns that law enforcement officials have cited about the World Trade Center site, according to a report in Sunday’s Daily News. Officials have expressed concern that Towers 2, 3 and 4—all comprised predominately of glass–will be built too close to the street. All three will be located between Greenwich and Church Streets. In addition, officials anticipated problems in inspecting the approximately 2,000 delivery trucks and sightseeing buses that will pass through the site daily; according to the report, the vehicle security center has not been fully designed and relies on vehicle inspection technology still to be developed. Safety concerns have been raised about the site before, and resulted in some design modification of the Freedom Tower in 2005, such as setting the building further back from the street and placing it on a 200-foot concrete and steel pedestal. The New York Police Department determined the original version of the Freedom Tower was vulnerable to a car or truck bomb. The Vehicular Security Center, to cost $478 million, will be located underground. The project was to begin last April, but the work done so far has consisted of moving utilities and sewer lines. As CPN reported on Feb. 20, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey completed excavation work for World Trade Center Tower 3, approximately a month after excavation for World Trade Center Tower 4 reached completion, and turned the sites over to Silverstein Properties. Tower 3, also known as 175 Greenwich Street, will encompass 71 stories and be the third tallest building on the site. The building will house 2.5 million square feet of office space and five floors of retail. Tower 4, to reach 64 stories at 150 Greenwich Street, will offer 2.3 million square feet of office, with five floors of retail. The 79-story Tower 2, at 200 Greenwich Street, will total 2.8 million square feet, and contain five floors of retail space. Safety systems at all three buildings will be designed to exceed both the New York City building code and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey requirements, according to Silverstein Properties. Calls to the Port Authority and Silverstein Properties were not returned by deadline.In other WTC news, late today, according to a Reuters News report, a court has determined that the Port Authority’s insurance claims can only cover one World Trade Center building and the PATH train station. The U.S. District court ruling did not extend the claim to cover the whole complex destroyed by the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001. Lloyds of London is the insurer. The claim had been for closer to $3 billion and was based on the argument that there had been two attacks that day, not one.