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Downtown Disappointed At Sluggish Pace Of WTC Development

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TWC News: Downtown Disappointed At Sluggish Pace Of WTC Development
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Many New Yorkers living in Downtown Manhattan do not have to walk by the former World Trade Center site every day, but say they often can't help but think about the tragedy of September 11, 2001.

"I was just down there and it brought back memories so I left," said one local.

On the eighth anniversary of the terrorist attacks, as they reflected on the lives lost that day, many New Yorkers also thought about the progress in the World Trade Center site, or lack thereof.

"After eight years, I think they should have some structure up - at least the memorial," said one New Yorker. "Part of the construction should have been done already."

This year, victims' families were able to walk on the site where the memorial plaza is being built. There's also discernible progress at One World Trade Center, where the pit is currently a construction site.

Yet most of the work still below street level and as fences surround the site, New Yorkers don't always know what's going on.

"It's kind of like a festering wound, literally and metaphorically, right downtown in the city and it's going to be hard to turn the page until something's done," said one local.

Many of the delays stem from the back-and-forth between the Port Authority, which oversees the site, and leaseholder Larry Silverstein. The public is well aware of the tension between the two sides.

"It's disappointing. I feel there's a lot of bureaucracy about what should be done with the space," said one New Yorker.

For now, city residents have no choice but to be patient. Yet they still have differing opinions about which elements of the World Trade Center site should be finished first.

"It'd be nice to have a memorial," said a New Yorker.

"I think what I'd want to see is the office buildings there," said another.

"To put an easy answer, I think all of them sound great and let them happen," said a third.

The September 11th memorial plaza isn't scheduled to be complete before 2011, and the museum, transit hub and One World Trade Center are all due to be finished in 2013.

"It should've been done in two, three years. It shouldn't take eight years," said a local. "It's going to take 10 years. It's taken too long. People will forget by then."

One hopes that New Yorkers have a longer memory of their saddest day.

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