Difficulties, Delays at Ground Zero Site

Tom Magee (welder) at ground zero CBS

WCBS-TV cameras were given unprecedented access to the Ground Zero site Thursday, highlighting the difficulties that exist as the city rebuilds in the shadow the World Trade Towers left behind.

WCBS cameras went from the bottom of Tower 4, two stories below street level, to 105 feet up the Freedom Tower, which will reach 1,776 feet when it is completed.

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The tour began with an interview of Chris Ward, director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who says he is happy with the progress being made at Ground Zero.

"It's not a pit. It's not Ground Zero. Now it's a sign of rebuilding and it's a sign of real hope," Ward told WCBS.

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Port Authority developer Larry Silverstein was less optimistic. Power struggles and blame games have led to seemingly endless delays in the development.

"This is a critical part of the infrastructure. They gotta get this started. They gotta get this going," Silverstein said.

Silverstein estimates that Tower 3 will be done by 2013, but a report commissioned by the Port Authority estimated that it won't be finished and filled with businesses until 2037 - 36 years after the September 11th attacks. The Port Authority also says the Freedom Tower won't be completed for another ten years.

On the other hand, the memorials museum will be open for the tenth anniversary of the attacks and the plaza is slated to be opened in 2013.


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