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Despite Bustle, NYers Wary Of WTC Progress

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TWC News: Despite Bustle, NYers Wary Of WTC Progress
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As the 8th anniversary of the September 11th attacks approaches, many New Yorkers say the rebuilding efforts at the former World Trade Center site fall short despite a significant amount of construction activity. NY1's Rebecca Spitz filed the following report.

There's a steady hum in the air around the former World Trade Center site these days. But try convincing New Yorkers any real progress is being made as the city approaches the 8th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Many wonder when, or even whether, they'll ever actually see something rise in the site.

"I think I'll be retired by the time this is all done," said one New Yorker.

"We should see something here, but all we see now is just a gigantic hole in the ground," said another New Yorker.

Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward, however, is adamant that things are happening, albeit slowly.

"This is no longer a pit, this is now a construction site," Ward said.

Ward says New Yorkers have a right to be skeptical but things are finally on track. He says part of the problem was letting emotion in the wake of the attacks dictate an unrealistic timeline.

"There was a rush to set dates, there was a rush to say 'Let's get it done sooner rather than later', There's no second guessing now, though," Ward said.

This year, victims' families will be able to walk onto the plaza where the memorial will eventually be and stand where their loved ones' names will one day be inscribed.

"The mayor asked us to make the memorial the sacred heart of the project, to make that the driver for construction schedules and we've done that, we've delivered this plaza floor probably two years before we'd been expected to," Ward said.

Still, the memorial plaza isn't scheduled to be complete for another two years, and the museum beneath two years after that.

Ward says what the public can't see is all the work that has been done just to get to ground level.

The Port Authority also says progress at the site can often be slow because so many of the projects are interconnected.

"It's like the game of pick up sticks. Every single part of this project you touch affects something else," Ward said.

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