As construction at One World Trade Center continues towards its estimated completion in 2020, officials are worrying about how to safeguard the site from storm flooding. Although the tower itself is expected to be finished next year, other parts of the 16-acre site will still be under construction for the next eight years. So far, the Port Authority has been keeping a tight lip on what their plans are for preventing flooding of the site due to sea level rise, which could cost upwards of $2 billion to repair.
The World Trade Center site, and all of Lower Manhattan for that matter, is poised on ground that has an extreme disadvantage in regards to flooding since it is man-made land built on a landfill. Being just at sea level, the area is prone to flooding during and after major storms.
Another even more dire problem with the World Trade site is that, like other construction sites, much of it is an open, unguarded pit. During Hurricane Sandy, New York saw many construction sites transformed into miniature lakes, resulting in expensive water pumping and water damage repair.
Pat Foye, the Port Authority’s executive director, is keeping mum on just how the site will be taken care of should another storm rip through the region. Foye has only shared the $2 billion estimate for repairs, and also adds that the costs would be covered by FEMA payments and reimbursements.
But with climate change and super storms now a grim reality in our region, we should hope that there is in fact a plan to safeguard New York’s most expensive skyscraper, at $3.8 billion, from impending damages in a known flood zone.