Transport hub on ground zero site is running hundreds of millions over budget and five years late

The World Trade Center rail station is hundreds of millions of dollars over budget, and five years behind schedule, according to data revealed by a Freedom of Information Act request.

The request was made by The Associated Press, and revealed that failures to make timely decisions, delays in procuring contractors and constant design changes among others, were frequently cited as indicators of budget and schedule problems.

The transport hub’s position, located in the middle of ground zero means the delayed project has slowed down construction on surrounding developments, which include the 9/11 memorial site.

Ground Zero site

The owners of ground zero and the agency building the hub, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is expected to announce another re-design of the project this week, said The Associated Press. They are also expected to radically increase the price tag, adding on more than $500m from its original budget, to $3bn.

The hub originally won praise for its design by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, labelled as the “single note of optimism in a cesspool of cynicism and politics” in a New York Times architecture review in 2004.

The rail terminal would replace a commuter rail hub, and include high-end shops and underground concourses connecting passengers to more than a dozen subway lines.

The reports from the Freedom Of Information Act said “rushed”, incomplete design documents were responsible for the delays.

Stephen Sigmund, spokesperson for Port Authority told The Associated Press that the agency had acknowledged problems with the project in a June report, and had since moved forward with a new way of doing business on the site, in close co-ordination with the (federal government) and other partners.”