April 14th - April 18th, 2008
Second Round of Proposals for Governors Island
April 14- Developers interested in Governors Island will get another chance to submit their proposals. Avi Schick, president of the Empire State Development Corporation told The New York Post that the agency will solicit new proposals for the island later this year. He also predicted the project won’t be stalled due to the weak economy because in his words, Governors Island offers ‘the best views’ of the New York skyline anywhere. The State’s new budget includes $10 million for the island with the city expected to match the amount.
Sports Museum to Open
April 14- The Sports Museum of America will open on May 7, according to a report in AM NY. Located at 26 Broadway on the Canyon of Heroes ticker-tape parade route, the Museum will be home to more than 800 artifacts, 1,100 photos and 24 interactive exhibits which will cover more than two dozen sports. The Sports Museum will also be home to the Heisman Trophy and the Billie Jean King International Women’s Sports Center. The Museum expects to attract a million visitors in its first year of operation.
Signature Design to Remain
April 16 – The World Trade Center Transportation Hub is being redesigned, but it won’t lose its signature winged structure designed by Santiago Calatrava. The Port Authority is expected to issue bid solicitations in the next four to six weeks, according to several published reports. The PA is concerned that the Hub cannot be built as designed within the budgeted amount. A report issued this week by the Federal Transit Administration said there was a 10 percent probability that the costs would exceed $2.991 billion. The Port Authority is also working on a more modest plan for the station that would use the existing tracks and structure of the interim PATH terminal, pare down the design of the below-ground elements, increase the use of columns and simplify engineering. The Calatrava design has undergone two major revisions since it was unveiled in 2004.
New Concrete to be Poured
April 16 – A bad batch of concrete was removed from the core foundation of the Freedom Tower because tests showed it wasn’t strong enough. Published reports say the foundation should be able to withstand 14,000 pounds per square inch; the concrete that was removed from the tower varied in strength between 6,000 and 10,000 pounds per square inch according to a spokesman at the Port Authority. No other batches have failed strength tests. Many factors impact the strength of concrete including weather, the temperature at which the concrete is poured and hardens, the time it takes for concrete to travel from the plant and the way it is mixed.
Port Authority Executive Director Resigns
April 17 – Anthony Shorris, Executive Director of the Port Authority announced his resignation. It comes five weeks after the resignation of former Governor Eliot Spitzer, the man who appointed him. Published reports say the leading candidate for the job is Chris Ward, former NYC environmental protection chief. The Governor’s office says there is a thorough search underway.
Cortlandt Street R and W Scheduled to Reopen This Fall
April 18 – There’s good news about the Cortlandt Street R and W station. The Port Authority told Community Board 1 it will reopen this fall. The Downtown Express is also reporting that the Port Authority is working with the MTA to put an elevator into the WTC stop on the E train. The elevator was closed last week when the temporary PATH entrance on Church Street was closed. The LMDC reported to the Community Board that up to 200 workers are on double shifts at 130 Liberty, finishing up preliminary abatement work. Spokesman Mike Murphy predicted the building is on schedule to be abatement and demolished by the end of the year.
Merrill Lynch to Cut Jobs
April 18 – Wall Street giant Merrill Lynch announced it will be cutting approximately 3,000 jobs this spring. The news comes on the heels of the company’s third straight quarterly loss from the mortgage debacle. However, CEO John Thain predicted 2008 will be an optimistic year for the company.