From: Andrew Johnson
Date: 2008-01-01 16:56:06
www.newsday.com/news… newsday.com/news/loc… Newsday.com Port Authority to pay Silverstein after delays BY ANTHONY M. DESTEFANO anthony.destefano@ne… January 1, 2008 Excavation delays caused by tougher than expected rock at the World Trade Center site mean that the Port Authority will have to shell out as much as $13.5 million in late fees to developer Larry Silverstein, the agency said yesterday.The payments, which could also dip to as little as $9.3 million, will be required because the full excavation of the foundations under Tower 3 and Tower 4 won’t be completed by today, the deadline negotiated by the Port Authority and Silverstein in 2006, officials said.Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority, pointed out that the clearing of foundation areas under Tower 4 is in some places within one to eight feet of the required depth – leaving at most two weeks more of digging. Work at Tower 3 requires another 24 feet of excavation, a job that could take up to a month, he said.”The Port Authority’s agreement with Silverstein Properties calls for it to make payments of approximately $300,000 a day if any section of the excavation is not completed by January 1,” the agency said in a statement.In essence, the excavation of the foundation areas under the two office towers to be built by Silverstein is required to reach a depth of 80 feet below street level, Coleman explained. “As we got deeper and deeper there was a lot more rock that had to be blasted and broken up,” he said. Officials said that the work on the 1,700-foot Freedom Tower is not affected by the problems at the Silverstein tower sites.In the worst-case scenario, officials expect that the excavation at the Tower 3 site will be done by mid-February or about 45 days past the deadline, Coleman said. Port Authority officials said that, despite the delays, the excavation of the whole project area is 90-percent complete. Any late payments being made to Silverstein will be offset by reduced payments to contractors, they said.”We appreciate how much the Port Authority has accomplished this year, and a few extra weeks to complete everything is a minor bump in the road in the context of this entire project,” said Janno Lieber, director of World Trade Center development for the Silverstein organization.In a statement, a representative of Silverstein Properties said the firm was confident that the two sites would be delivered to it “in the very near future.” Silverstein has said the two office towers, which are to front on Greenwich Street, will be completed by 2011.