Photo by Nadine M. Post/ENR

World Trade Center Project's Shape Is Challenging To Build

The complex above-grade form of Santiago Calatrava's WTC Transportation Hub, designed to resemble a bird of peace, is taking shape in Lower Manhattan. The main transit hall, which is 365 ft long, will contain more than 11,000 tons of structural steel in 600 members, some with as many as three field-welded connections. Challenges include the unique geometry and the connection engineering. The entire structure was modeled to determine a carefully staged erection sequence. The hub is scheduled to open some time next year.

EPA Proposes $1.7 Billion Superfund Cleanup Project

The Environmental Protection Agency on April 11 proposed a plan to remove 4.3 million cu yd of highly contaminated sediment from the lower eight miles of the Passaic River in New Jersey. The $1.7-billion cleanup, the largest proposed in the Superfund program's history, would use bank-to-bank dredging to remove sediment contaminated with dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), heavy metals, pesticides and other contaminants, then cap the river bottom.

The plan, based on a seven-year study of the lower eight miles of the river, builds on work already completed or under way within other highly contaminated sections of the Passaic. According to EPA, much of the dioxin was generated by the Diamond Alkali facility in Newark, N.J., which produced Agent Orange and pesticides during the 1960s. But EPA states in the plan that there are at least 100 other companies that have contributed to the pollution. The area was added to the Superfund list in 1984. Between 1983 and 2001, extensive cleanup work was conducted on land at the Diamond Alkali facility and in the streets and homes near it. The latest cleanup plan proposed in April now addresses the portion of the site along the lower part of the river. EPA says it will work to ensure that those responsible for the contamination pay for the cleanup. EPA will hold three public hearings and conduct a public comment period from April 20 to June 20. The final plan is expected early next year, after which engineering and design work will begin.

South Carolina Gives Duke Green Light on Power Project

Duke Energy Carolinas can build a 750-MW, natural-gas-fired combined-cycle project at its Lee station in Anderson County, S.C., and will not be required to solicit offers for 375 MW of solar capacity, as environmental groups had sought, the South Carolina Public Service Commission said on Wednesday. In voting to grant the project a certificate of environmental compatibility and public convenience and necessity, the PSC said it agreed with South Carolina's Office of Regulatory Staff that the project is needed and that DEC "should determine the optimal in-service date" for the planned unit. In his motion to approve DEC's combined-cycle plan, Commissioner Comer Randall said requiring the utility to build or buy 375 MW of solar power "would be a material change to the original application filed [by DEC]. Based on its [integrated resource plan], Duke does not need the additional 375 MW of capacity at this time.