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An Inside Look At Progress Of WTC Site As 12th Anniversary Approaches

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Work continues to progress at the World Trade Center site as the nation prepares to mark the 12th anniversary of the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil.

As plans for the future continue to unfold, the city is also taking time to remember.

The "tribute in light" illuminated the night sky on Monday.

The twin beams representing the fallen towers were tested ahead of Wednesday's anniversary.

As CBS 2's Weijia Jiang reported, a lot has risen in the spot where those towers once stood.

"It's even stronger. It's even bigger. It's even better," visitor Jason Skovren told Jiang.

One World Trade Center is scheduled to be completed in early 2014, but the soaring tower is already captivating visitors.

"It's magnificent, yeah," Pamela Skovren said.

An Inside Look At Progress Of WTC Site As 12th Anniversary Approaches

Jiang took a tour of the 104-story building, which stands at the northwest corner of the 16-acre site.

As CBS 2's Steve Langford reported, the finishing touches are now being put on the $4 billion symbol of American rebirth.

"At some point, you're about 95 percent done and you're at the point of coming up with a list of things that the contractor's got to complete. That's the phase we're in. If you look around, this space is near ready for delivery," Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye told Jiang.

Crews are almost done installing windows and steel beams. The main lobby will feature 50-foot-high ceilings.

In May, crews installed the final piece of the crowning spire, making the tower an iconic 1,776 feet tall.

The 64th floor will eventually be a sky lobby, providing 360-degree views of the city. An express elevator will go from that floor to the observation deck at the very top.

The skyscraper was initially named the Freedom Tower, but it was changed to One World Trade Center.

Some, including members of the construction crew, said they still view it as a beacon of freedom.

"It's an amazing project. There's so much stuff -- the underground, it's like a whole city rising pretty much from what happened," construction worker Joe Welsh told Jiang.

The building's smaller neighbor -- the 72-story 4 World Trade Center -- will open in November.

One World Trade Center, Sept. 11 Memorial as seen from Chopper 880
One World Trade Center, Sept. 11 Memorial as seen from Chopper 880, Sept. 10, 2013 (credit: Tom Kaminski/WCBS 880)

Two more office towers, a transportation hub and a performing arts center are also in the works.

The 9/11 Museum is on schedule to open this spring, officials said.

A couple of years from now, what is now a construction zone will be an open street corner with Greenwich Street running south and Fulton Street running west along the site. It will all be open to pedestrians with limited vehicle access, Langford reported.

All the new construction will feature state-of-the-art security to safeguard a site that stands for so much.

Tenants will start moving in next year and the observation deck will be open to the public in 2015.

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