Port Authority executive director Chris Ward today presented his candid review of the outstanding challenges at the World Trade Center site, tossing out the existing timetables and listing more than a dozen unresolved issues that could add delays.
Mr. Ward’s announcement, as expected, did not outline any specific dates but rather the new director pledged to come back in September with a revised plan for the site [see a PDF of the report here].
The biggest challenge for the agency is the PATH hub, a project budgeted at $2.5 billion with overruns. The project, which encompasses aspects unrelated to PATH such as retail and costly infrastructure for the broader World Trade Center site, is highly unlikely to fit within that budget.
The laundry list of potential problematic issues included an unfinished land deal with St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church; the underpinning of the structure that holds the No. 1 subway line; the demolition of the former Deutsche Bank Building; staging and funding issues for the reconstruction of Route 9A; a deal over how security will be controlled on the site; and the design of the Cortlandt Street subway station. [More on some of these issues in a June 3 Observer article on the matter.]
"We now stand at a crossroads in the rebuilding effort to achieve a fully rebuilt site on an acceptable schedule and within an acceptable budget," Mr. Ward wrote to Governor Paterson in the report’s cover letter. "This will require a new way of doing business as we move forward."