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Leaky Ceiling Still A Problem At WTC Oculus

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- There were sunshine and dry skies Thursday, but, still, water was leaking from the ceiling at the World Trade Center Oculus transportation hub.

It also happened in May, but the Port Authority said the problem had been fixed.

As CBS2's Tony Aiello reported, a worker mopped up water while buckets collected the stuff dripping from the ceiling.

"It leaks when it rains," said Oculus visitor Janet Parson. "No, it's not raining (Thursday), but it's worse when it rains. But there's always a leak, almost always a leak."

It's a blemish on what some consider one of the great public spaces in the world.

The leaky ceiling is just down the stairs from the great hall of the Oculus, the soaring space was designed by star architect Santiago Calatrava, which came in seven years late and $2 billion over budget.

One informed estimate has Calatrava collecting more than $50 million for his design work at the site, one of the greatest paydays in the history of architecture.

Critics say his ambitious designs often lead to problems. The facade at a Spanish opera house had to be stripped because tiles kept falling off, while the owner of a winery sued Calatrava over the leaky roof.

"His designs are pretty cool, but he had a lot of problems with overcost, especially like it always costed more than what's expected," said Albero Armenbariz, a tourist from Calatrava's native Spain.

The Oculus was an enormous and complicated project. But the Port Authority says the leaks aren't a consequence of the design, blaming "outside third party construction work," apparently at 3 World Trade Center next door.

The Port Authority says engineers are working on a fix.

Until then, buckets are an unintended addition to the spectacular space.

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