Port Authority of NY & NJ Awards Major Contract For WTC Transportation Hub
Marks Completion of 94 Percent of the Value Of All Contract Awards for the Hub Project
The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today approved a major construction contract to fabricate and erect the steel for the signature Santiago Calatrava-designed Oculus, which will serve 250,000 people daily as the gateway to the World Trade Center Transportation Hub and its various interconnected transit systems and world-class green office and retail space. The award marks the last major contract for the WTC Transportation Hub with 94 percent of the contracts now awarded. To view video and photos of the most recent construction progress on the WTC Transportation Hub, visit www.wtcprogress.com.
The Oculus will serve as the primary link for pedestrian access to the PATH system, 13 New York City subway lines, 500,000 square feet of world-class retail, four office towers at the WTC site and the World Financial Center – representing one of the most extensive underground pedestrian connections in the City. Under the $221 million contract, Skanska/Koch Inc., a division of Skanska USA Civil, will build the signature structure that will frame the Transportation Hub’s main concourse. The contract includes fabricating and erecting approximately 11,000 tons of structural steel.
This contract – along with increased insurance costs and other trade contracts associated with the Hub project – required the Port Authority to draw down $180 million from a $600 million program-wide contingency fund that the agency established in 2008. This allocation will go toward a Board-reauthorized Transportation Hub budget of $3.44 billion, up from $3.26 billion.
In addition, the Board authorized $151 million to fund expenses related to the commercial infrastructure that supports the office space site-wide as well as approximately $8 million for systems-integration planning given the interconnectedness of all of the site’s projects. Of this $159 million total, $61 million will be allocated out of the Board-approved WTC East Side Development Plan, which was authorized in August 2009 to establish greater certainty over the phased development of the commercial office space in the east bathtub, and the rest will be allocated from the $600 million of program-wide contingency.
Taken together, these authorizations leave a total of $322 million of program-wide contingency for future risks, on top of $280 million in Hub contingency that the Federal Transit Administration had previously established.
Port Authority Chairman David Samson said, “With the award of this contract, progress is forging ahead with work under way on every major piece of this key transportation facility that serves commuters from both states. It will significantly increase transportation capacity downtown and provide first-class retail and restaurant space to help revitalize the Lower Manhattan economy, essentially to create jobs.”
Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “This is a critical award, which brings the contract award process for the Hub project to 94 percent completion, up from 27 percent when we established the Hub’s budget back in 2008. Given how close we are to absolute completion of the Hub contract process, it is the right time to draw down on the program-wide contingency we established back in 2008 for these types of circumstances.”
Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni said, “The thousands of commuters who will pass through the Hub every day will benefit from the seamless transit connections it will provide and the economic boost to the economy.”
With 94 percent of the contract value awarded, construction of the WTC Transportation Hub has gained significant momentum. Calatrava-designed steel arches have already been installed to form the PATH’s mezzanine level roof, and, in turn, the floor of the Memorial Plaza. These steel members are being manufactured and fabricated in various locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Canada and Spain. This portion of the Hub is following a deck-over construction method to “build the roof first” in order to ensure that the Memorial Plaza is open by the 10th anniversary, as the Hub roof will double as the floor for the Memorial. The deck-over design was developed during the Port Authority’s 2008 assessment to prioritize the completion of the 9/11 Memorial.
Work also is under way to build the foundations for the Transit Hall and Oculus, which will be the most visible part of the Transportation Hub given that most of the Hub is being built below street level.
Construction is being done around the existing temporary PATH Station and #1 Subway Line to allow around-the-clock train service to continue.
PHOTO: An artist's rendition of Santiago Calatrava's design for the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub