New York Daily News
August 16, 2006
WTC construction gets rolling
BY PAUL D. COLFORD
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
E.E. Cruz construction crews prepare to build the foundation for the World Trade Center Memorial.
Big rigs began another big dig yesterday at Ground Zero.
Heavy equipment was rolled down into The Pit by E.E. Cruz & Co. as the New Jersey contractor prepared to build the foundation for the World Trade Center Memorial.
By mid-morning, a pair of loaders and an excavator on treads were crisscrossing the southwest corner of the WTC site in a beep-beeping ballet.
The machines lifted trailer-length pieces of steel off an 18-wheeler and pushed debris to the sideline. Mammoth timbers were snapped in half by the long-clawed excavator to be hauled away.
"All our people are very ecstatic that they're going to be in on this project," Edward Cruz, president of E.E. Cruz, told the Daily News.
Recalling that the company provided equipment and other services during the post-9/11 cleanup of the site, Cruz added, "It's great to be back to make something positive."
The digging of the foundation for the Freedom Tower, the 1,776-foot office tower planned just north of the memorial site, began in April and will include occasional rock-loosening blasts.
Yesterday's work on the memorial kicked off a $17 million phase of construction, following several weeks of site preparation begun on March 13.
With high-powered drills and more blasting, Cruz hardhats will excavate a series of cubes, as deep as 10 feet in Ground Zero's rocky floor, in which the memorial's support structure will be set.
Plans call for the WTC Memorial and the Memorial Museum, recently scaled back to meet a $500 million budget, to be completed for an opening on Sept. 11, 2009.
Two sunken pools will mark where the twin towers stood. The complex will also feature a street-level plaza and underground exhibition halls.
The WTC Memorial Foundation still must raise another $170 million for the project.
© 2006 Daily News, L.P.