Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today toured the World Trade Center with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Patrick Foye, and other federal and state officials to view the sites progress in recovering from damage sustained during Superstorm Sandy. The Port Authority has spent more than $100 million on repair and mitigation measures throughout the site and has approved more than $300 million in additional repair and mitigation funding.
Superstorm Sandy caused significant damage at the World Trade Center, but in the year since then we have made considerable progress toward both rebuilding and strengthening the site for future extreme weather, Governor Cuomo said. From the innovative approach of using security bollards to aid a flood barrier to raising electrical equipment and waterproofing materials, the improvements that have been identified over the past year will be key to responding to the next major storm.
We have made tremendous progress in continuing to rebuild the World Trade Center site over the past year, said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. Under the Governors direction, we continue to implement innovative mitigation measures to protect the site from future superstorms.
The storm surge that resulted from Superstorm Sandy brought approximately 125 million gallons of water into the World Trade Center site, predominantly through the Vehicle Security Center (VSC), which was under construction at the time. The flooding effectively inundated the 16-acre site, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage and halting construction for six days.
Significant construction progress has been made on the VSC in the year since, and it is now well on its way to full completion. In the months following the storm, workers moved to quickly place rebar and pour concrete to build the VSC facility and its perimeter walls, thereby enclosing the VSC to prevent any future reoccurrence. As of today, 98 percent of the concrete is now in place and the facility will be operational in 2014.
To view before and after photos of the VSC go to: http://www.governor.ny.gov/assets/VSC-before-after.png
Included in todays site visit was a briefing on a conceptual design by the Port Authority to utilize existing security bollards as anchors for a removable flood barrier system. This would provide a flexible means of installing a water protection system in sufficient time to respond to any upcoming extreme weather event.
Also in response to the storm, the Port Authority has taken action to implement many mitigation measures designed to increase resiliency throughout the site. Construction crews have replaced damaged electrical equipment, installed key electrical equipment at higher elevations and increased the height of waterproofing the entire perimeter of the VSC by nearly four feet. In addition, all potential points of water infiltration at the VSC were identified and sealed to prevent any further water penetration.
Crews also have strategically placed large pumps and emergency generators as well as thousands of feet of piping to prevent seepage in and around the VSC and elsewhere on the site. Hesco bags, or specially engineered sandbags, and two thousand tons of sand are also in place and/or strategically stored as an additional protection measure.