What's the priciest part of the new World Trade Center? Nope, not 1 WTC, which will be America's tallest building. The answer is a train station that will be used by New Jersey commuters and Red Bulls soccer fans, at a price tag of $3.4 billion?and climbing! That's according to the Bergen Record, which obtained a federal report that says the final cost of architect Santiago Calatrava's WTC transportation hub?the PATH train station and underground connections to the Fulton Street Transit Center and World Financial Center?might be $3.8 billion. Officials dispute that, but here's a sentence that won't instill confidence: "An official at the Federal Transit Administration, which is paying a majority of the hub expenses, stressed that the authority could still hit its current spending target if it manages the project properly."
Back in 2005 the budget for Calatrava's bird-like hub was just $2.2 billion, and as costs began spiraling, the spectacular design got majorly value-engineered. The vast mezzanine will no longer be column-free, the floors will no longer be marble and the ceiling will no longer open. Critics lashed out at the changes, and now there's a chance the new budget won't stick. As for when the PATH station will be finished, the report warns us to expect a fresh three-month delay. The "unconscionable waste of precious Ground Zero earth," as Steve Cuozzo would say, might not open until March 2015.
· World Trade Center transportation hub costs increasing [NorthJersey.com]