July 15th - July 21st, 2005
LMDC Considers Options for WTC Arts Center Relocation
Friday, July 15: Rebuilding officials are considering the possibility of relocating a cultural complex currently planned to reside near the World Trade Center Memorial to other locations within Ground Zero's 16 acres, the Daily News reported.
According to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), the World Trade Center Foundation requested that the agency "make one final effort" to relocate the complex, even though the area has already been mapped out in accordance with architect Daniel Libeskind's master plan.
"It's not likely we will find such a place, but we want to make every effort to see if it's feasible," LMDC Chairman John Whitehead announced at the agency's monthly board meeting, the paper said.
The effort to explore new locations for the cultural complex, which would be occupied by the International Freedom Center and the Drawing Center, comes in response to recent controversy surrounding both organizations' exhibits.
While the LMDC continues negotiations with both organizations, the Drawing Center said that it has put the entire planning process for its relocation downtown on hold and is considering pulling out of the site unless they are granted complete freedom in curating, Crain's New York Business reported.
Safeway Environmental Corp. to Assist in Deutsche Bank Deconstruction
Saturday, July 16: The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) announced that the Safeway Environmental Company has been granted a $3 million contract to assist in the deconstruction of the former Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty Street, the New York Times reported.
Under the supervision of an LMDC-appointed safety expert, Safeway would be tasked with the environmental work associated with the erection of scaffolding 535 feet up the building's façade, the newspaper explained.
The 40-story building at 130 Liberty Street, formerly owned by Deutsche Bank, was severely damaged on September 11, 2001, by debris from the twin towers. Since then, the building has become the property of the LMDC, which will raze it in 2005 and incorporate it into the new World Trade Center development. For complete coverage, click here.
Skanska Tapped for Fulton Street Transit Center
Monday, July 18: Swedish construction company Skanska announced that it has been selected to help build the new Fulton Street Transit Center, the Associated Press reported.
Skanska, which was awarded a $133 million contract for the job, will be charged with building a concrete structural box for the center's Dey Street Concourse that will include an underground walkway. The planned hub will link six existing subway stations and will also be connected with the World Trade Center PATH station, AP explained.
Work on the new transit hub at Fulton Street began in early February 2005 -- the first steps on the way to a station that will link 12 subway lines and accommodate more than 300,000 riders daily by the time it's completed in 2008. For complete coverage, click here.
Court Rules 9/11 Medical Claims to Be Assigned to Single Court
Monday, July 18: A United States Court of Appeals ruled that the thousands of lawsuits filed by 9/11 rescue and cleanup crews claiming medical injuries will all be tried in a Federal District Court in Manhattan, the New York Times reported.
The decision strikes down a lower court's ruling that previously limited federal jurisdiction to claims of exposure at Ground Zero on or before September 29, 2001 -- the date that the search for victims concluded and recovery operations began. As part of the earlier ruling, state courts would have handled the remaining claims outside of that time period or at other locations, such as transfer stations and Fresh Kills Landfill, the paper said.
"This is an important decision because it will ensure that all the litigation arising from the terrorist attacks is in one court, which will streamline the litigation and minimize the risk of inconsistent decisions by multiple courts," Kenneth A. Becker, chief of the trade center unit of the city's Law Department, told the Times.
According to the U.S. Court of Appeals, the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act of 2001 calls for all lawsuits arising from terrorist attacks to be tried in federal court and sets no time or geographic restrictions, the paper added.
MTA Retools Fulton Street Transit Center's Design
Tuesday, July 19: In a presentation to Community Board 1 (CB1) last week, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) capital planners outlined the revised design scheme for the ambitious Fulton Street Transit Center. The new plan scales back several features to reduce the project's overall budget by $40 million, while keeping most of the key elements that will link 12 subway lines and the World Trade Center PATH station.