The New York Times reports that security at Ground Zero will cost more than the memorial.
It’s always amazing hearing these reports of staggering expenditures and precautions because a skyscaper “has to be built” at Ground Zero. The irony of course is that if Ground Zero had been turned into a park such extraordinary expenditures and precautions would not have been necessary. Manhattan quite frankly never looked better than it does now at every place else except Ground Zero as the construction boom in the current bubble.
The Federal Transit Administration announced a grant of $478 million (acquisition is to cost $59 million) yesterday for an underground vehicle screening center at the site to be built by the Port Authority on a block across Liberty. Vehicles would be channeled through islands in the roadway, nearly 20 feet below street level, where they would be stopped and searched manually and electronically before being allowed to proceed farther down, to truck loading bays and bus parking areas about 45 feet below the street or car parking areas about 60 feet underground.
In addition to this grant, $200 million was given by the feds for West Street-Route 9A improvements by Ground Zero; $174 million for a foundation for Santiago Calatrava’s WTC transportation hub and $30 million to structurally fortify an underground pedestrian corridor planned along Fulton Street.
Of course it is always impossible to object once somebody says something is necessary for security. Ground Zero will be the most fortified place in the city — something the “undulating” steel and glass buildings that are going up everyplace else in the city might envy once the car bombs start going off. But when the car bombs start going off folks probably aren’t going to want to stay in NYC anyway.