March 1, 2011

Port Authority awards last contract for WTC transportation hub



Last week, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey board of commissioners 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.

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 FTA previously established.

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.

To view video and photos of the most recent construction progress on the WTC Transportation Hub, click here.

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