9/11 Families Sue To Block PATH Station at WTC - Additional reports
October 15, 2005 -- Families of 9/11 victims have filed a federal lawsuit asking a judge to halt construction of a controversial PATH train station on the footprint of the World Trade Center — an area they view as hallowed ground.
Members of the Coalition of 9/11 Families claim that plans to build a train hub on a section of Ground Zero that contains support beams for the Twin Towers would violate laws protecting historic sites. The footprints of the towers are "the most significant and evocative physical remnants of the World Trade Center," lawyers for the families wrote in the suit. The families' attorney, Richard Lippes, said yesterday: "Almost 50 percent of the victims' remains were never found. The families consider that their last resting place. That's their connection with the lost loved ones."
The suit, filed in Manhattan federal court on Thursday, names the Port Authority, which owns the 16-acre site, as well as two federal transportation agencies. The PA began construction of the transit hub on Sept. 6, court papers show. A PA spokesperson would not comment on the lawsuit yesterday.
Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the five-level station would connect several downtown subway lines with the PATH trains to New Jersey. Lippes said the victims' families had agreed to a compromise that the station could cover half of the former site of the south tower, but they want the remainder of the footprint preserved.
With Post Wire Services.
 Some 9/11 families say PATH station would trample on hallowed ground - October 14, 2005, 5:15 PM EDT
NEW YORK (AP) _ Families of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks want to block construction of a station for commuter trains between New Jersey and Manhattan, saying it would intrude on the footprints of the fallen World Trade Center towers, a coalition member said Friday.
A lawsuit seeking to stop the construction of the permanent station for the Port Authority Trans-Hudson service commonly known as PATH trains was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Thursday. The Coalition of 9/11 Families Inc. brought the action against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the 16-acre site where the trade center stood, and federal transit agencies that are funding the building of the PATH station.
Construction on the transportation hub, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, began on Sept. 12. Part of the five-level station, which would connect several downtown subway lines with the PATH trains to New Jersey at the trade center site, would build over part of the footprint to the south tower, the lawsuit said.
While the families always knew that about half of the south tower would be covered by the PATH development, the latest plans propose extra train tracks that were never there before Sept. 11 and extra platform, said Anthony Gardner, a member of the coalition who filed suit. The changes would cover a greater part of the south tower and encroach upon the north tower footprint, he said. "They've never justified the need for this extra platform," Gardner said Friday. "The priority is the commercial and then the history is secondary."
The lawsuit said the proposed PATH terminal should be rejected because there are feasible alternatives that would not intrude on a historic site. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Steve Coleman said Friday the agency hadn't been served with the lawsuit and doesn't typically comment on lawsuits against it.
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