The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced the award of the first major construction contract for the World Trade Center Memorial, which will pay tribute to the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 and February 26, 1993. The Memorial remains on schedule for completion in September 2009.
The $17 million contract was awarded to E.E. Cruz of Holmdel, N.J. to build the Memorial’s foundations and footings. The work will begin later this month and be completed within the next year. Site preparatory work for the Memorial began in March.
New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “This month we will begin in earnest to build a fitting and lasting tribute to the thousands of heroic men and woman who paid the ultimate sacrifice on September 11th and continue to keep our promise to victims' families to open the Memorial by 2009. As the Memorial begins to take shape during the upcoming years, it will raise the spirit of the American people and continue to show them that we as a nation overcame the terrible acts committed by terrorists nearly five years ago. ”
New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine said, “The September 11th attacks took the lives of nearly 700 New Jerseyans, and changed the world for all of us. It is our sacred duty and our solemn obligation to honor those who died, to remind those who survived, and to inspire those who follow in years to come. Just as we as a nation rose from the ashes of that morning, this memorial will rise.”
World Trade Center Memorial Foundation Chairman John C. Whitehead said, “With the award of this contract, we can look forward to beginning to lay the foundations for the Memorial later this month. We’re pleased that the bids came in on budget and that the project remains on schedule for completion in 2009.”
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “We were extremely pleased to be asked to take responsibility for the construction of a Memorial that honors the memory of the thousands lost on September 11, including so many in the Port Authority family. We are committed to building a project that will ensure future generations never forget what happened that fateful day.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “When this stunning monument to 9/11 opens in three years, it will give family members, survivors, tourists and others a location at which they can quietly reflect on the horror of 9/11 and on the heroism of hundreds of people who helped save thousands of lives. We are extremely gratified to be working with the Memorial Foundation to make this project a priority in the rebuilding process.”
World Trade Center Memorial Foundation Acting President Joseph C. Daniels said, “The award of this work is a definitive sign to our donors that the Memorial is being built and it reinforces the idea that we’ve achieved cost clarity, basic design finality, and have established clear roles and responsibilities for the project. These are critical elements to any successful capital campaign. The Foundation and the Port Authority are working well together and we look forward to getting the heavy construction work underway later this month. The momentum that is being generated around the fifth anniversary provides a perfect opportunity for the public to step forward and help us raise the remaining $170 million needed for the successful completion of the Memorial and Museum.”
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “The Port Authority clearly understands the national significance of this project and has committed up to $195 million to help pay for its construction. Our staff is proud to be playing an integral role in building what will be a nationally recognized landmark for generations to come.”
Construction of the Memorial began in March with preliminary work to cover the original box beam columns that outline the perimeters of the Twin Towers. The Memorial is currently on schedule for completion in September 2009.
Last month, the Memorial Foundation and the Port Authority Board of Commissioners agreed to have the Port Authority assume responsibility for construction of the Memorial, the Memorial Museum, and the Visitor Education and Orientation Center. At that time, the Port Authority Board also agreed to commit up to an additional $95 million toward the Memorial and the Memorial Museum, in addition to a previous commitment of $100 million. The Memorial Foundation will continue to assume responsibility for the integrity of the project’s design and operation.
Aside from the Memorial, major construction already is under way to build the Freedom Tower and the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, and to prepare the easterly portion of the site for the future construction of Towers 2, 3 and 4.
Since April, crews have been excavating for the Freedom Tower footings and foundation, and blasting is being done to expedite the work. The first steel order for the 1,776-foot-tall tower was placed in July, and the first pieces of steel will be erected on the site in January 2007.
At the transportation hub site, the foundations for Platform D are being installed. This fourth platform for the PATH station will allow work to be staged while the rail system continues its 24-hour-a-day operation. On the easterly portion of the site, demolition of the old Hudson and Manhattan Railroad infrastructure continues to support the East Bathtub construction.
ABOUT THE PORT AUTHORITY
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.
ABOUT THE WORLD TRADE CENTER MEMORIAL FOUNDATION
The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, Inc. is the not-for-profit corporation founded in 2005 to realize the Memorial quadrant at the World Trade Center site. The Foundation will raise the funds, oversee the design, and operate the Memorial, the Memorial Museum, and a Visitor Orientation and Education Center located on 8 of the 16 acres of the site.
The Memorial will remember and honor the thousands of people who died in the horrific attacks of February 26th, 1993 and September 11th, 2001. The design, "Reflecting Absence," created by Michael Arad and Peter Walker consists of two voids that reside in the footprints of the original Twin Towers surrounded by a plaza of oak trees. The Arad/Walker design was selected from a design competition which included more than 5,000 entrants from 63 nations.
The Memorial Museum will include artifacts, interactive exhibitions, a resource center, contemplative areas, and educational programming which will convey individual and collective stories honoring the memory of the victims and recounting the experiences of survivors, responders, area residents, and witnesses. The Memorial Museum will help facilitate an encounter with both the enormity of the loss and the triumph of the human spirit that are at the heart of 9/11, as it affirms the courage, compassion, sacrifice and resilience - the best of humanity - demonstrated at a moment of cataclysmic tragedy.
Donations can be made through the Foundation’s website, and more information on the Foundation can be found at www.buildthememorial.org or by calling 1-877-WTC-GIVE.