Port Authority acknowledges water leak at WTC site

Agency had denied breach at complex's protective wall several months ago

World Trade Center
From left: The World Trade Center's slurry wall and rendering of the mall at the World Trade Center

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey admitted to a water leak at the World Trade Center that caused construction delays at the site, after denying any such problem at the complex in August.

Construction workers reported hearing water rushing behind an underground concrete wall that encases the 16-acre site and protects it from the Hudson River, DNAinfo reported several months ago.

While a Port Authority spokesperson denied any problems at the time and insisted that the workers were mistaken, agency officials were quoted in the New York Times this week acknowledging, in fact, a serious leak at the site.

The slurry wall, installed in 1960 during the construction of the original World Trade Center, is 3,200 feet long, 4 feet thick and around 100 feet deep. The leak contributed to delays in opening the new complex’s grand lower concourse, which will house around 125 high-end retail tenants.

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“The dripping has been reduced dramatically,” Steven Plate, the Port Authority’s director of World Trade Center construction, told the Times. “We’ve made some significant progress. Several spaces are dry.”

Plate said engineers traced the leak to the roof of the World Trade Center’s underground complex, which includes the transportation hub, the 9/11 museum and retail space.

He also blamed the water rush primarily on construction workers constantly spraying water to reduce dust levels while breaking up concrete, and “to the fact that Tower 3, while still under construction, is open to the elements.” [DNAinfo]Rey Mashayekhi