The Real Deal New York

Disputes and design send WTC transit hub costs soaring

Insiders say conflicting agendas have contributed to billions in budget overruns

September 04, 2014 11:00AM

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From left: WTC transit hub construction, Michael Bloomberg, Scott Rechler and Santiago Calatrava

From left: WTC transit hub construction, Michael Bloomberg, Scott Rechler and Santiago Calatrava

The cost of the Santiago Calatrava-designed transit hub at the World Trade Center has skyrocketed not just because of its complex construction, but due to conflicts among the various stakeholders involved in building the downtown PATH station.

When all is said and done, the spiny PATH station at the center of Silverstein Properties’ 16-acre World Trade Center complex will have likely cost between $3.7 and $4 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported. That makes it the most expensive train station in the U.S. An investigation by the newspaper shows that disagreements regarding the construction timeline, poor communication among agencies and conflicting goals contributed to the price tag, which is more than double the amount originally budgeted.

“Did you need to build the $3.7 billion transportation hub to achieve the meaningfulness of the World Trade Center redevelopment?” Scott Rechler, vice chairman of the Port Authority, asked the Journal. “In hindsight, I don’t know if I would have come to that conclusion.”

As an example, the Journal points to former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s insistence that the World Trade Center memorial plaza be finished on the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks that felled the twin towers. Completing the memorial before parts of the transit hub were done complicated subterranean construction, according to the newspaper. The project, scheduled to be completed in 2015, currently lags eight years behind schedule. [WSJ]Tom DiChristopher

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