Wednesday, December 19, 2007

WTC memorial opening pushed back to 2011

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Construction workers look up at the Goldman Sachs building on Friday, Dec. 14, 2007 in New York. The $2 billion skyscraper is under construction next to the World Trade Center site. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007 said higher investment banking fees and smart bets in mortgage-backed bonds helped it easily beat Wall Street expectations for the fourth fiscal quarter.
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

WTC memorial opening pushed back to 2011

Tue Dec 18, 3:58 PM ET

NEW YORK - Construction of the memorial and underground museum commemorating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will be finished in 2011, two years later than originally planned, officials said Tuesday.

The "Reflecting Absence" memorial will surround two waterfall-filled pools marking the World Trade Center tower footprints with a plaza of sweetgum and oak trees. Officials had said for years that it and a museum below street level would open Sept. 11, 2009.

The builders of the memorial adjusted the timetable last year, saying the above-ground plaza would open in 2009 and the underground museum open a year later.

Steve Plate, who oversees the rebuilding of the trade center site for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said Tuesday that the schedule would be pushed back another year.

By 2009, the steel for the memorial pools would be built up to street level, he said. By 2010, the cobblestone-filled plaza surrounding the memorial pools would be "nearly complete," he said. The plaza would be open to the public by that time, Port Authority spokeswoman Candace McAdams said.

The entire memorial, museum and pavilion will be finished by 2011, Plate said.

The schedule was revised to reflect a more realistic schedule that became clear after construction began, McAdams said.

"We see the reality, and want to operate on responsible timelines," McAdams said Tuesday. "We'll work as aggressively as possible to complete the project as soon as possible."

Construction of the memorial began in spring of 2006, and briefly stopped while architect Michael Arad's design was altered to cut costs that were approaching $1 billion. The redesign — which cut over $200 million in costs — made the museum a bit smaller and moved stone parapets listing the names of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the attacks to street level.


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