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$7.4B Tag to Get Downtown Moving

by PETE DONOHUE and PAUL H.B. SHIN, Daily News Staff Writers    April 20, 2002 

Rebuilding lower Manhattan's shattered transportation network will cost about $7.4 billion, the city-state agency leading the effort has revealed. Lou Tomson, executive director of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., unveiled the rough price tag Thursday for the first time during meetings with several key lawmakers in Washington, sources told the Daily News yesterday.

Tomson led a high-level delegation of local transportation honchos who were seeking federal funding for projects unveiled last week in a general blueprint for rebuilding the World Trade Center area. The other members of the group were Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman Peter Kalikow and Port Authority Director Joseph Seymour. Tomson's agency, which has sweeping powers to direct downtown redevelopment, is still weighing which options to pursue. But Thursday's meetings with members of the influential House and Senate appropriations committees were seen as an important step toward winning some flexibility in spending the $20 billion that President Bush promised New York City.

Redevelopment officials don't want to be constrained by regulations that earmark federal relief funds strictly for replacing what was lost. They want the leeway to make dramatic improvements such as rebuilding West St. underground and rebuilding the PATH train terminal to link up with 14 downtown subway lines.

The delegation estimated it would cost $2 billion to sink West St. from Chambers St. to the Battery Tunnel; $2 billion for a new PATH terminal with airport-style moving sidewalks to nearby subways; $1.3 billion for security improvements in subways; $750 million for a new transit hub at Fulton St., and $400 million to expand the antiquated South Ferry subway station. The trio's trek to the nation's capital "was both smart politically and a step in the right direction for rebuilding lower Manhattan," said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), whose staffers also met with Tomson's delegation.

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