Terrorism

Is There a Good Reason Why It's Taking So Long to Rebuild the World Trade Center?

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Not according to this Time mag story:

Even given its size and complexity, the World Trade Center has taken an unusually long time to rebuild. If everything goes according to plan, the site won't be finished until 2016. That's nearly 8 years longer than the initial projections offered by New York's then governor George Pataki in 2003. To give you an idea of how long that is, the original towers were completed in just five and a half years.

"It's easy to ask, 'What's taking so long?'" says Chris Ward, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, "but it's harder to say, 'O.K., this is how we build it.'" The World Trade Center construction site is a $20 billion venture — according to Ward, it is the biggest public-construction project that has ever been undertaken in the U.S. It is a vastly complex partnership between the Port Authority, a bistate government organization that oversees the regional transportation between New York and New Jersey; a private real estate developer named Larry Silverstein; and dozens of smaller companies and organizations that have been brought on to help design, build, fund and oversee everything from the subway and commuter-train center to a performing-arts venue. The site has suffered repeated delays, budget overruns, design changes and several serious lawsuits. After 9/11, it took nearly a year and a half for the city to even decide upon a rebuilding plan.

Read the whole thing here.

According to the Wikipedia, the original WTC complex (not counting building 7) took about 4 1/2 years to build once construction began. If it comes down to believing Time or the distributed intelligence of Wikipedia…well, you do the math.

Reason's Matt Welch was in Manhattan on the 10th anniversary. Read his take here.

Reason.tv's Meredith Bragg and I on "9/11, The World Trade Center, & New York's Next Skyline":

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  1. A free market economy could rebuild the towers.

    1. But why would the free market do that? So that paper memos could be moved from floor to floor through pneumatic tubes and people could be moved to and from their homes and the skyscrapers in subways?

    2. Only if there was a demand for office space at that location.
      It is my understanding that the WTC was a subsidized loser that the market would have never built in the first place.

      1. Only if there was a demand for office space at that location.

        I have talked with architects.
        The Bloomberg Cafeteria, to be located on the 3rd floor of new and improved WTC complex, overlooking the emergency generators, will have a special on unsalted legume soup every Monday, only $14.

      2. Pretty much. A number of articles were written in the aftermath of 2001 explaining that NYC already has basically all the commercial properties it needs, but there is a need for more residential real estate.

  2. Too late I guess. The Port Authority just uped the Hudson river tolls by $4 on Sunday.

    1. I there any reason why I read the word “troll” the first time I read that sentence?

  3. They claim part of the toll increase will pay for the WTC.

  4. They getting paid by the hour?

    1. Youse gotta problem wit dat?

      1. yea we got a prob, but we wont dare say it to ur face

  5. I think I found the problem right here:

    partnership between the Port Authority, a bistate government organization that oversees the regional transportation between New York and New Jersey

    1. I stopped at the word “public”.

    2. There’s part of the answer. The other is the weird people who think it’s a gravesite.

  6. Sounds like the rent-seekers are swarming to the WTC. God forbid there should be any oversight or prudent plan. Instead, build everything everyone wants, and spend whatever it costs. Don’t ask questions, that would be unpatriotic. Remember our heroes… and sign this check.

  7. The original WTC did not have to obtain approval from professional 9/11 VIKTIMZ! griefers at every stage of the process.

  8. The longer it takes, the better.

    1. we right da bldg codes

  9. It takes time to make sure the right people get paid so that votes can be bought. There are a lot of political favors involved in an undertaking of this magnitude.

  10. The Empire State Building took about a year and a half – using only the technology available in 1930. It was the tallest building in the world for 40 years – until the WTC was built.

  11. Why is a transportation authority up to its eyeballs in building an office building? Is the new WTC going to trundle around Manhattan and North Jersey?

    1. I think the Port Authority always has some relation to the WTC. There’s a pretty big PATH train station there.

  12. Why is a transportation authority up to its eyeballs in building an office building?

    They are under the mistaken belief that commuting to a big office building is still a requirement of business.

  13. This pretty much explains it: “It is a vastly complex partnership between the Port Authority, a bistate government organization that oversees the regional transportation between New York and New Jersey; a private real estate developer named Larry Silverstein; and dozens of smaller companies and organizations that have been brought on to help design, build, fund and oversee everything from the subway and commuter-train center to a performing-arts venue.” Remember the old saying “Too many cooks spoil the soup”? The WTC’s had about a million cooks demanding to have their voices heard.

    1. I think by “have their voices heard”, you mean “have their pockets stuffed with cash.”

      1. That paragraph excludes the 9/11 families, who were active in the beginning. They have held the position that it’s the grave site of their loved ones. It’s a holy site to them.

  14. You got it all wrong.

    The WTC should be built where the Pentagon was and the P-gon should be moved to lower Manhattan.

    DC hacks need to be reminded of the power of and need for the US private sector. While the hordes of faux-green quasi Marxist NYC hipster doofuses will get an up close and personal view of Big Government, all five sides of it, maybe even a tank or two on Sunday. Oh my!

    1. We already have uniformed military with guns patrolling the Port Authority Bus Terminal. None of the anti-military Left complain about it here.

    2. Hell, move the entire government to Iowa and make DC into a new Williamsburg.
      Oh, and relocate the UN to Port-au-Prince. I understand land there is quite cheap.

  15. There’s and old saying within the engineering field that there are three ways to execute a project: inexpensively, quickly and correctly and the challenge is you can only choose two of those options for any project.

    My understanding is the reason the project has taken so long is because it took several years to completely clean up the site and then evaluate all the damage that wasn’t seen, namely to the original seawall. Then there was the necessity to do a majority of the work at nite so as to not shut down lower Manhattan and the subway system. And of course the interface with the Port Authority slowed things down as well, but an unprecedented design and construction project like this is difficult to schedule unless money isn’t an issue.

    1. I thought the saying was “better, cheaper, or faster, pick two”

      1. Good, fast or cheap. Pick two.

        … Hobbit

        1. Sex, power, money. Buy two, get one free.

        2. Or to be pedantic, “pick at most two”. You can easily get one, or none.

  16. Jersey City had a construction boom to replace all the office space lost on 9/11. The delays in building the WTC are sad, but we aren’t suffering for lack of space.

  17. One of the primary reasons 9/11 was allowed to happen as it did was simply to eliminate the target. I would think they would put off rebuilding a target for as long as possible…

  18. As I recall, it took 1.5 year to build the Empire State Building. It was designed and built by patriotic Americans, though.

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