WTC Transit Hub Starts To Take Shape
July 17, 2008
A series of recently-installed arches in the World Trade Center site is the first major sign of the planned transit hub’s construction. NY1’s Transit reporter Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
At the World Trade Center site, a series of arches has sprouted in recent days. It is the first part of the outline of an underground pedestrian passageway that will one day connect the planned World Trade Center PATH hub to points west.
"This will be a corridor which will connect the PATH hall under West Street to the World Financial Center," said Port Authority Program Manager Saverio Leone.
To get there, workers will have to blast through the western slurry wall and tunnel under West Street. But for now, workers are busy setting the 47 arches in place.
Contoured in design, set atop rounded columns, the curved arches reflect architect Santiago Calatrava's vision for the entire transit hub, with its curved forms and a bird-like structure above ground.
The idea is to create an airy space, and when they are completed, shops will line the north side of the corridor, and the curves will be prominent.
"That is one of the signature components of the Calatrava design. You'll see them, they'll be exposed,” said Leone. “The concrete slab will be above the arch, or the rib. There'll be lighting in between the ribs."
Calatrava's original design for the hub was scaled back once because of security concerns, and again earlier this month, when the Port Authority announced the hub's winged roof will no longer open and close.
But officials say the corridor taking shape here is a sign of progress.
"It's a very positive step here on the project, because you're actually starting to see what this thing -- the vision, where we're going," said Leone.
As for the transit hub itself, the Port Authority is still reevaluating the design in order to bring the project in on budget. Originally scheduled to be complete late next year, the completion date has been pushed back to 2011.
Officials warn it could be pushed back even further.
- Bobby Cuza