World Trade Center Downtown Restoration Program Phases I & II
New York City
Owner: Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Construction Manager: WSP USA Inc.
The first two phases of the World Trade Center Downtown Restoration program were 17 years in the making, launched in early 2002, just after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and reaching substantial completion in 2019 under the $20-billion effort to create 10 million sq ft of new facilities.
Redeveloping the 16-acre World Trade Center site involved more than 100 design and construction firms, creating a modern mixed-use complex that also acknowledges those lost in the attacks, with memorials and other spaces for reflection.
The program ultimately featured more than 20 distinct projects adding sustainable, modern features, while also limiting impact on historic and cultural buildings nearby and the regular flow of urban life.
Highlights of Phase II included the $4-billion Oculus transportation hub, the 9/11 Memorial plaza and museum, the $3.2-billion One World Trade Center, a new performing arts center, subway upgrades and various infrastructure features. The team executed on $2.5 billion of work annually during the program’s peak.
To stay on track, the team developed custom document control, cost modeling and financial management tools that plugged into each contractor or consultant—including a 45,000-action integrated master schedule that coordinators reviewed monthly across all projects. The team used BIM tools to carefully integrate precise component placements across complex infrastructure on multiple projects.
Participants also managed through an unexpected crisis—125 million gallons of water flooding the site during Superstorm Sandy in 2012. A core group, which stayed on site throughout the storm, worked to restore operations in less than 24 hours. Despite $1 billion in damage, project work resumed just three days later.