Joint Venture Is Chosen to Build PATH Terminal and Transportation Hub at Ground Zero
In one of the most reliable signs yet that large-scale building is about to begin at ground zero, the Port Authority plans to award a $1.1 billion contract to four giant construction and engineering firms to oversee the World Trade Center PATH terminal and transportation hub.
Far from the ribbon cuttings and saber rattling - and behind closed doors because negotiations are not finished - the board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey voted Thursday to authorize the award of the construction management and general contractor post to a joint venture called Phoenix Constructors. Almost certainly a reference to the new trade center rising from the ashes, and perhaps a nod to the birdlike form given to the transportation hub by the architect Santiago Calatrava, the Phoenix group is composed of:
¶Fluor Enterprises, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Fluor Corporation, which drew criticism recently as one of the winners of $100 million no-bid contracts awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for recovery from Hurricane Katrina. (The head of the agency told a Senate panel in October that new bids would be sought.)
Because negotiations are still under way, no Port Authority executive would comment on the contract. Neither would the companies. The award was reported yesterday in two New Jersey newspapers, The Star-Ledger and The Record.
The losing bidder was a joint venture of Bechtel Infrastructure Corporation, Kiewit Constructors, Turner Construction Company and Tully Construction Company.
According to the board resolution, an evaluation committee "identified Phoenix Constructors as the highest technically qualified firm that provides the best value." The contract calls for $200 million in preparatory work and $900 million in construction to be performed by Phoenix or its subcontractors. Phoenix may also be involved in excavating and installing foundation walls for the east bathtub - as the building foundations between Church and Greenwich Streets are called - and with retail construction at those sites.