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Leaks, Breakdowns Cause Some To Wonder Whether Oculus Transit Hub Was Rush Job

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A leaky roof, and broken elevators and escalators, have led commuters and workers to complain about the construction of the new Oculus transit hub at the World Trade Center.

As CBS2's Hazel Sanchez reported, some wonder if it was a rush job.

The Oculus is the centerpiece for what was praised as a state-of-the-art transportation hub when the $4 billion project was completed last year. It is a massive investment that has people like Cynthia Bedessee, who works at a kiosk inside, asking questions.

"Why are you guys having all these like malfunctions?" Bedessee said. "I mean, you spent so much money. You shouldn't have no type of malfunctions whatsoever."

Bedessee is talking about leaks in the roof that caused a dangerous mess earlier this month.

"The roof part near where Fulton Center is, it caved in a little bit and it was just leaking a lot of water," Bedessee said. "Like it was just pouring."

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey partially blamed some of the structural issues on construction going on on both sides of the Oculus.

But some New Yorkers say that is no excuse for other issues like faulty escalators and elevators. Just last month, two men were injured when an escalator buckled.

"I've noticed the elevators took a really long time to become functional when it first opened and are still closed pretty often," said Deane Gross of Gramercy Park.

"You want to make sure the job is done right," said Chris Lombardo, "especially when a lot of our tax dollars are going towards that."

Some critical commuters called the transit hub construction a rush job. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he feels the same.

"Four billion dollars is a lot of money. I think it could've been better spent, and now there are questions about the integrity of the construction of the Port Authority is looking at," Cuomo said. "But I would agree with them."

"We got a lot of taxpayers and they're spending money, and were contributing to something that supposed to be a monument -- especially right here at ground zero -- it should be working," said tour ticket vendor Adrian Gordon.

The Port Authority said it has repaired the leaks in the Oculus and is still investigating the elevator issues. The agency said the leaks were caused by a faulty drainage system and exposed areas in unfinished construction.

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