By: Steve Strunsky | NJ Advance Media
NEW YORK — Installation of the World Trade Center transportation hub's vaulting glass ceiling is scheduled to begin Monday, as the final touch of one of the site's most distinctive features, set to open this spring.
More than 35,000 square feet of glass will allow the sun to shine down on PATH and New York City commuters between the arching concrete beams, or "ribs," of Santiago Calatrava's whimsical mass transit depot. The design has been likened alternately to a colossal bird in flight and a stegosaurus crouching near the base of the 1,776-foot 1 World Trade Center tower.
Installation of over 700 glass panels measuring 5' X 10' will take three-four months, a spokeswoman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said today. Enclos, a firm specializing in large-scale glazing projects, will do the work.
As the ceiling is installed, access to and throughout the hub will continue to open in phases, the Port Authority said.
The entire hub, including the so-called "Oculus," a vast open space directly below the glass ceiling, plus 400,000 square feet of retail and dining space, is expected to be complete by the end of this year or early 2016.
The hub's latest price tag is $3.95 billion, $2.9 billion of which is being paid for by Federal Transit Administration funds, the Port Authority said.
"Lower Manhattan is one of the most historically significant and vibrant urban neighborhoods in the world, and the World Trade Center Transportation Hub will provide the transit interconnectivity residents and visitors need," Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye said in a statement.