Ground Zero Excavation Slow, Pricey

NY Port Authority faces millions in penalties on delays
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 13, 2008 10:37 PM CST
Excavation continues at the southeast corner of the World Trade Center site in this file photo of Aug. 20, 2007 in New York. The site's owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, had a deadline...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Ground Zero in New York City is a magnet for patriotism, skepticicm and frustration; underground, it continues to be a very costly challenge. Excavation preparatory to rebuilding is moving so woefully slowly that New York's Port Authority has accrued late fees of $300,000 a day since Jan. 1, with penalties of over $13 million due to Silverstein Properties, which will build two office towers on the site. 

The delays are typical of the authority, says a former director, "thanks to the bureaucratic maze that exists there." But the current director says “paperwork” isn’t the problem; rather, “it was the challenge of doing a project of this scale in this short a time.” Work on the 6.7-acre “East Bathtub” has cost $250 million thus far.