2007_02_calatransithub.jpgUh-oh. The Santiago Calatrava-designed World Trade Center PATH transit hub is now estimated to be $1.2 billion over budget by the construction company's contractor. Previous estimates pegged building the critically-praised "bird-like" structure at $2.2 billion in 2005, after the Port Authority approved a revised design. Why the high estimate? Labor costs and materials.

The Port Authority's executive director Anthony Shorris wrote in a letter to PA Chairman Anthony Coscia (hello, CYA paper trail), "We have notified Phoenix that costs so substantially above the original budget for the hub are simply unacceptable, and we will need to consider a range of options for completing the project." Calatrava released a statement saying, “I am confident" that he can maintain the design while keeping in mind the cost. Shorris said that the PA will first look to cut costs on things "that are not visible" versus removing some of the design's signature elements, like a retractable roof and two 150-feet-tall canopies.

Here's the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation's information on the transit hub.