With the release of doves symbolizing the rebirth of the World Trade Center site, Governor George E. Pataki, U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, Acting New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the launch of 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.
“This is a momentous occasion for the World Trade Center site and for the rebirth of Lower Manhattan,” Governor Pataki said. “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 downtown destinations.”
U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said, “New York is taking off again, and set to soar to greater heights than ever before. 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.”
Following the speaking program, the Transportation Secretary, the Governors, 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 11th terrorist attacks. The dignitaries also accepted and signed a piece of rail that will be installed in the transportation hub. 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.
Acting New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey said, “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. 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.”
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, “Today we mark a giant step forward in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan with the groundbreaking of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. 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 11 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.”
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer said, “Putting a shovel in the ground for the Calatrava PATH terminal is a critical step in moving downtown development forward. The new hub to connect all public transportation in one stunning location will not only make Lower Manhattan the center of life downtown and the gateway to the entire region, as it should be, but the station will be the beautiful centerpiece of our revitalization effort. I’m thrilled that after successfully lobbying Congress and the White House for this funding, we are finally remaking the transportation system in Lower Manhattan.”
U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton said, “We made a commitment to every New Yorker that Lower Manhattan would grow anew when we first secured the $20 billion in the aftermath of the attacks. The World Trade Center Hub is a testament to New York’s determination and this magnificent architectural accomplishment will serve as an important symbol that our future is bright.” U.S. Senator Jon Corzine said, “The new Lower Manhattan transportation hub will be vital to our region’s economy, serving the more than 41,000 New Jerseyans who commute to New York City through this PATH station each day. Mass transit links our interdependence, and builds our regional strength. The rail we symbolically put in place today honors that interdependence and honors our commitment to rebuild and move forward from the horror of September 11.”
U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg said, “As this new transportation hub rises from the ashes of September 11th , it will symbolize the strength and vitality of our nation, and maintain the strong economic link between New Jersey and Lower Manhattan.”
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.”
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.
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 rail 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.