The the powers that are involved wtih Ground Zero planning got a shock when construction company Bovis Lend Lease submitted an appraisal of how much it'll take to build the World Trade Center Memorial - and the price tag is close to $1 billion. On the upside, it can known as the "most expensive memorial ever in the United States!" Governors Pataki and Corzine and Mayor Bloomberg say they want to keep the cost to $500 million, which is still less than the estimated $672 million cost for the memorial a few months ago. In terms of the money that's there for the memorial, there is a total of $430 million - $130 million in donations, $200 from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, and $100 million from the Port Authority. The new question posed: How will the memorial's design be revised in order for it to be built?

The NY Times reports that the new cost analysis was conducted when bids from constructions for just the footings seems very high. Well, that's what happens when memorial officials estimate the cost of building something - and of course, there's finger-pointing about who came up with the first $490 million number. What's the rule of thumb with estimates, anyway? Always go to a contractor for an estimate, put another 20% on it, and then you're almost in the ballpark? And remember way back when there was a competition for the memorial design?