Barely more than a year ago we wrote about more delays hitting the World Trade Center Transit Hub, now comes word that the station—which at least appears to still be on track for a 2014 opening—is going to cost a smidgen more than originally expected. The Port Authority yesterday acknowledged that the price of the winged station (whose wings will no longer retract) is actually going to cost about $180 million more than the last estimate estimated. The total cost now? $3.44 billion.
When the project was originally proposed in 2003, its budget was estimated at $2.2 billion. And that was before architect Santiago Calatrava toned down his soaring design by cutting out the retractable roof and some interior space and columns. Apparently much of the higher price tag announced yesterday has to do with higher-than-expected shipping costs for the steel arches that dominate the plan's roof. The arches are being made in Spain and shipped here.
Interestingly, in 2007, when the then-general contractor for the project announced it would cost $3.4 billion, the Port Authority called that number "simply unacceptable." But that was back when city and state agencies were really strapped for cash! In order to pay the over costs, the PA is going to use a contingency fund for the project which it has maintained “for these types of circumstances.”
When the hub does open it will be the third-largest in the city (behind Grand Central and Penn Station) with a quarter-million people expected to go through it each day and more retail space than the Time Warner Center. It will house stations for PATH trains, 13 MTA subway lines, and a proposed JFK rail link.