Ever since late last week, constructions workers have been busily working on the beginnings of Freedom Tower. Steel reinforcing rods that will, as the NY Times explains, "define what will be the southeast corner of the four-foot-thick concrete wall at the tower’s core" were placed last Wednesday and on Saturday, 520 cubic yards of concrete were poured into the footing.

The Daily News reports that the foundation will be completed in the next couple of weeks and "giant steel columns" will be installed next month. The Freedom Tower, whose construction officially started in April when the foundation work was begun, is hoped to be completed by 2011. Apparently Freedom Tower's lower levels "will rise above street level" by mid-2008 and construction will "peak" in 2009 when Freedom Tower and the other three office towers will be in the midst of concrete work.

2006_11_cahill.jpgGovernor Pataki's top adviser, John Cahill, was on the scene, and told reporters, "What we're doing here is not just building buildings, we're reclaiming New York City's skyline and making a testament to freedom." But with all the progress construction-wise, the search for human remains is continuing. The Mayor's office believes the recovery effort will take until the end of next summer. This week, the search will take place on the roof of the Millenium Hilton.

And NY1 reported that trees for the September 11 Memorial are being grown in NJ, for planting in 2009. We hope the landscapers are scoping for even younger trees, because we're not sure the memorial will be ready by then.

Photograph of workers at the World Trade Center site on Saturday and photograph of John Cahill and son watching the work by Jeff Zelevansky/AP