Just days after the final two sections of One World Trade Center's spire were raised to the top of the skyscraper, construction of the new World Trade Center transportation hub also reached a milestone. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.
It will open years later than expected and cost almost twice as much as planned, but the nearly $4 billion World Trade Center transportation hub known as the "Bird in Flight" is finally spreading its wings.
"The architect, Santiago Calatrava, had defined it to be a dove beginning to take off in flight. Truly, the wings that you see and the pieces that you see going in begin to form that shape," said WTC Director of Construction Steven Plate.
On Tuesday, a crane lowered two 10-ton steel ribs into place, giving the public its first above-ground peek at what will be the station's soaring design that opens a window to the sky.
While PATH train service returned to the site in 2003 after the station was destroyed on 9/11, the new look hub will link commuters to 12 subway lines and the MTA's Fulton Center, which is rising a few blocks away.
Expected to serve more than 100,000 commuters daily, it will be the city's third-biggest transit hub, with the steel wings creating a distinctive look over the World Trade Center site.
By the time the transportation hub opens in 2015, it will feature 610 such pieces of steel.
The station will also house nearly 500,000 square feet of shops and restaurants and connect to four of the towers on the site as well as the 9/11 Memorial.
"It will truly be a city within a city," Plate said.
The installation of the steel ribs marks the latest milestone at the contruction site, where last week, the final pieces of 1 World Trade Center were raised to the top of the skyscraper.
"You see all the significant events, the topping off of two of the most complex buildings, the installation and placement of the spire just the other day," Plate noted.
Construction on the hub began in 2007. According to the original timetable, it should have opened two years ago.