FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 6, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND GOVERNORS PATAKI AND CODEY JOIN U.S. TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY MINETA TO LAUNCH CONSTRUCTION OF WORLD TRADE CENTER TRANSPORTATION HUB
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York Governor George E. Pataki, Acting New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey today joined U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta and Port Authority officials to launch the construction of a spectacular transportation hub that will link the PATH rapid-transit system with all downtown subway lines via underground passageways and to the World Financial Center Ferry Terminal via a West Street underpass. During a ceremony near the temporary World Trade Center PATH Station, the Mayor and other elected officials discussed how the transportation hub would improve Lower Manhattan's transportation network and its economic recovery. Following the speaking program, the Mayor and other dignitaries joined with world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava for the release of doves, symbolizing the rebirth of the site nearly four years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The dignitaries also signed a piece of rail that will be installed in the transportation hub.
"Today we mark a giant step forward in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan with the groundbreaking of the World Trade Center's transportation hub," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Santiago Calatrava's awe-inspiring design of a child releasing a bird into the air represents the hope and promise of a World Trade Center reborn out of the ashes of September 11th. Connecting eleven subway lines to PATH and ferry service, this transportation hub will provide the infrastructure necessary to attract businesses, workers and residents to Lower Manhattan. With the Governor's leadership, and with the cooperation of our partners in the Port Authority and the federal government, our vision for a revitalized Lower Manhattan is becoming a reality."
"New York is taking off again, and set to soar to greater heights than ever before," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta. "People cleaning up from Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast should be able to find hope and inspiration in New York's example. Americans are strong in the face of tragedy; they don't quit, they rebuild."
"This is a momentous occasion for the World Trade Center site and for the rebirth of Lower Manhattan," said New York Governor George E. Pataki. "Today we launch construction of a new iconic transportation facility - an architectural marvel and a grand terminal that ultimately will serve a quarter of a million people each day traveling to work, to view the Memorial or to other cultural destinations."
"The PATH system has served for more than 40 years as a lifeline for tens of thousands of New Jersey residents traveling to and from Manhattan," said Acting New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey. "It also plays a critical role in transporting New York residents to jobs along New Jersey's Gold Coast. Construction of this new facility will provide PATH users with a quicker, more convenient way to get to their destination and will provide the transportation infrastructure the region needs to create new jobs and economic activity."
In January 2004, when he unveiled his initial design concept for the terminal, Mr. Calatrava said he drew his inspiration from the idea of a child releasing a bird. The Federal Transit Administration committed approximately $1.92 billion toward the $2.21 billion World Trade Center Transportation Hub project. The remaining $300 million will be paid by the Port Authority.
The transportation hub will be operational in 2009 and eventually will serve more than 80,000 daily PATH riders. The terminal will be a full-service regional transportation hub that will feature seamless pedestrian connections to existing and future transportation services such as ferries at the World Financial Center and Metropolitan Transportation Authority subway lines. The hub also will be able to accommodate future connections with other potential transportation infrastructure such as a proposed rail service to John F. Kennedy International Airport and Long Island.
Following today's construction launch, crews will begin to build a retaining wall to the west of a temporary track to be used during construction of the terminal. The temporary track will allow work to be staged while PATH service continues uninterrupted. Additional site preparation work also will be done through the remainder of 2005. Work on the terminal's east/west concourse and the excavation of the east side of the site for the Transit Hall is scheduled to begin in 2006.
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, "This great transit facility will give the World Trade Center site a unique identity, and also will serve as the centerpiece of a transportation network that now links New Jersey and New York. This is truly a visionary project that will greatly enhance mobility and will help to address the region's transportation needs for decades to come."
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, "Today's ceremony is a major milestone in the revitalization of Lower Manhattan, and demonstrates the Port Authority's commitment to invest in infrastructure that will create new jobs and energize the economy. This project will provide more than $650 million in wages and salaries and thousands of good-paying jobs that will greatly help the downtown area."
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, "Today marks the next step in the Port Authority's commitment to provide a state-of-the-art transportation hub as a component of the World Trade Center site. This facility will be a signature project on the site and will set the stage for the redevelopment of the site's other components."
In November 2003, the Mayor and Governor opened the temporary PATH station at the World Trade Center site, restoring a crucial rail connection between New York and New Jersey that was severed in the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Edward Skyler/Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958
Joanna Rose (Governor) (212) 681-4640
Steve Coleman (Port Authority) (212) 435-7777
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