WTC Overruns: "Unconscionable"
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|Eight years after 9/11, the WTC rebuilding has not progressed as planned—and LePatner & Associates founding partner Barry LePatner (author of the forthcoming Roadblock: America's Failing Infrastructure and the Way Forward) blames the “unfortunate situation” on a public owner with no experience building a large complex. Consequently, the construction attorney says there've been billions in cost overruns—with the potential for much more. One WTC, formerly known as the Freedom Tower (below, which we snapped from 7WTC last month), is taking a month per floor to build versus a more normal four days to a week. He calls it an unconscionable waste of time and public resources.|
|He says politicians have failed to force the Port Authority to follow any master plan, and now the public is faced with the prospect of an unbuildable project that may never see construction of Frank Gehry's Performing Arts Center and a diminished transit hub. His suggestion? Since some components are proceeding without completed designs, work should be halted until contractors are provided complete and coordinated construction documents, ensuring a fixed price and defined completion date. Appoint a czar who will oversee a completion schedule with contractors assuming the risk for further delays and convey a more confident sense that the work will get done before 2017.|
|Barry believes it's all become a bigger boondoggle than Boston’s Big Dig and says the WTC project is a massive drain on public funds that would be better used for addressing our infrastructure needs. He thinks once the healthcare talks are over, we can expect DC's focus to shift to imperiled bridge and road problems that will need several trillion dollars to repair.|