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 Audit: PATH restoration a 'model'

BY JOSHUA ROBIN Staff Writer December 2, 2004, 12:41 PM EST
A state audit has concluded that the Port Authority's restoration of PATH service at the World Trade Center was "a model of good management," even though the agency's project was $155 million over budget.

That's because the initial estimate was never considered to be sufficient, according to Comptroller Alan Hevesi, whose office released the report on Thursday. "The construction on the PATH tunnels and interim station was costly and complicated," he said. "But it was completed ahead of schedule and without the dramatic cost overruns or construction problems that have plagued many public authorities."

The Sept. 11 attacks destroyed the World Trade Center station, flooded two tunnels between the site and Jersey City and required work at the Exchange Place station in Jersey City. The Port Authority began work in Jersey City during the winter of 2002 and began rebuilding at the site that summer. Service was restored on Nov. 23, 2003. The project cost was originally projected at $300 million, but grew to $455 million.

Hevesi's office found that the earlier figure was "not made on a detailed assessment of the work site because of limited access to the site," according to a news release.

Original projections called for the construction to be completed within 24 moths, but the Port Authority finished the work within 22 months of the original contract date. In a statement, Anthony R. Coscia, the Port Authority chairman, said: "I am pleased that the Comptroller has recognized the hard work and dedication of our employees and their ability to follow proper procedures in undertaking such an enormous project."

The current, temporary World Trade Center station is slated to be replaced by a complete station designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava by 2009. Plans call for it to offer a connection to a new MTA transit hub anchored at Fulton Street. Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/newyork/nyc-path1203,0,2906616.story?coll=ny-nynews-headlines

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