state and city officials gathered at the rim of ground zero
yesterday to celebrate their cooperation in securing $4.55
billion in federal money to overhaul and update the tangle of
subway stations, commuter terminals and other transportation
outlets in Lower Manhattan.
But the money still falls short of the $7.5 billion that
officials overseeing the rebuilding have long said would be
needed to complete crucial transportation projects, leaving
questions about which projects might be scrapped or scaled back
as the rebuilding effort progresses.
The officials vowed that all of the agencies involved in the
rebuilding effort would work together to expedite the financing.
Michael Brown, the deputy director of the Federal Emergency
Management Agency, said the agency was essentially telling local
authorities, "You figure out what is best for you and we
are going to help fund that for you."
The transportion projects, which are expected to take three
to five years to complete, could still be encumbered by the
numerous federal agencies and state and local officials who have
some say over how the money is used.
The $4.55 billion allocation, part of the previously
announced $21 billion in federal aid that President Bush
promised New York for its recovery after Sept. 11, includes
$2.75 billion set aside for FEMA and earmarked for use in the
World Trade Center site cleanup.
That money will be continue to be administered by FEMA,
although it can now be used for transportation projects that
expand or reconfigure the subway stations and other
infrastructure that existed before Sept. 11. Normally, FEMA
money can only be used to replace whatever was destroyed in a
The remaining $1.8 billion discussed yesterday is money whose
specific use for transportation projects was approved earlier
this month, when President Bush signed a supplemental
"We will have a multimodal center down here that is
worthy of the 21st century," Gov. George E. Pataki said at
a news conference on Liberty Street, overlooking the pit that
now constitutes the trade center site.
As jackhammers and heavy equipment worked on a temporary PATH
station in the background, Mr. Pataki said, "This is, I
believe, the first time that FEMA has undertaken to grant a
local jurisdiction this magnitude of flexibility, and it will
allow us, as you hear behind us, to continue with the process of
While most of the talk was of transportation, Senator Hillary
Rodham Clinton made note of plans to erect a memorial to the
victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. None of the pending decisions
about the downtown infrastructure, she said, "undermines or
defers the important decisions about the memorial."
State and local officials involved in the rebuilding effort
said the projects most likely to be paid for with the $4.55
billion were a new PATH commuter terminal at the World Trade
Center site; a new Fulton Street transit center linking the
various city subway lines that converge downtown; and an
underground concourse to connect the PATH terminal and the
transit center that will stretch from the World Financial Center
to the area beneath the intersection of Broadway and Fulton
In addition, planned projects include a bus terminal at or
near the trade center site; a reconfigured South Ferry terminal
for the 1 and 9 subway lines; a connection between those lines
and the N and R lines at Rector Street; improvements and
expansion of the ferry terminals at the World Financial Center
and Hoboken, N.J.; and a study of ways to connect the Long
Island Rail Road and the Metro-North Railroad to Lower
The estimated cost of those improvements is $4.1 billion,
according to figures put together by the Lower Manhattan
But the development corporation, the Port Authority of New
York and New Jersey and the Metropolitan Transportation
Authority had previously proposed spending $2 billion for a West
Street tunnel, to route most traffic away from the surface
streets near the trade center site, and $1.3 billion for
long-term security enhancements in the subway system and at the
tunnels and bridges connecting New York and New Jersey.
Once details of each project are sufficiently clear to begin
construction, officials said, the various local and state
agencies — the Port Authority, the M.T.A. or the State
Department of Transportation — will have to apply to FEMA for
specific funds. Those items that are not approved by FEMA could
be paid for by separate application to the Federal Transit
Louis R. Tomson, the president of the Lower Manhattan
Development Corporation, said officials involved in the
rebuilding might have access to additional money for use on
transportation projects, including insurance payments on the
destroyed portions of the PATH and subway lines.
The development corporation also has access to money through
Community Development Block Grants administered by the United
States Department of Housing and Urban Development, which Mr.
Tomson said could be used for some transportation-related
expenses, or through special federal grants set aside for hazard
mitigation or other uses.
Some of the previously outlined projects could also be scaled
back, Mr. Tomson said. Some of the initial land-use designs for
Lower Manhattan called for only a short stretch of West Street
to be put underground, rather than the entire length from
Chambers Street to Battery Park. And the estimated costs of
security upgrades might be lowered as planning progresses, he
"We have not sat down and really refined these ideas
yet," Mr. Tomson said. "Clearly we have to maximize
the dollars that are available. And we also can begin to look to