Developer Larry Silverstein is probably sleeping better: Yesterday, seven insurance companies agreed to pay $2 billion in payments, which brings the total insurance payout to $4.55 billion and allows all the constructions projects to move forward with what Governor Eliot Spitzer called "certainty." He also said, "It permits access to the capital markets, it resolves and eliminates one of the outstanding hurdles that had remained and it brings to closure years of litigation."

Apparently the "largest single insurance settlement ever undertaken by the industry," the payout was $130 million less than a court ruled Silverstein was entitled too. Still, the Sun says the payout gives Silverstein both "options" and "security": He can work with fewer investors or banks, and he'll have an easier time as a leader in the rebuild.

Silverstein must share some of the payout with the Port Authority, as part of the deal he made over a year ago to give the PA control over Freedom Tower while Silverstein builds three buildings along Church Street and a mall co-designed with the PA. And Silverstein pointed to the progress made at Ground Zero so far, noting how well-received 7 World Trade Center has been, and said about the payout, "I say from the bottom of my heart, a very, very deep thank you."

Photograph of WTC developer Larry Silverstein in his office by Mark Lennihan/AP