NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As ceremonies took place at the World Trade Center site Tuesday morning, TV 10-55’s Chris Wragge caught up with Mayor Bloomberg in lower Manhattan to talk about the news of construction resuming at the 9/11 museum.
While many assumed political squabbling was to blame for the delays in hammering out a deal between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the foundation that controls the 9/11 museum, the mayor insists this was not the case.
“These projects are phenomenally complex,” Mayor Bloomberg said.
WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb With The Mayor
“There’s two states, Port Authority, the federal government, private sectors, insurance companies – everybody’s involved and everybody has a responsibility to make sure the people they represent get what they’re entitled to and don’t spend any more money than is absolutely necessary.”
The situation, the mayor said, was quite complicated – so delays were to be expected. In fact, he called construction at the World Trade Center “probably the most complex construction project in the history in the world.”
The Port Authority owns the World Trade Center site. The museum once was scheduled to open this year. Work slowed late last year when the subcontractors at the site stopped getting paid. The agreement was reached late Monday night, allowing construction to continue.
“Democracy,” the mayor added, “is a time consuming thing.”
Construction on the museum will begin at the end of the month, according to Bloomberg.
“It’s not been as contentious – the press always wants to have a good story and think that there’s battles,” the mayor said.
Noting that the project was expensive, Bloomberg said the big challenge going forward will be raising money to keep the project going. And while he wants the project done quickly and economically, safety is the main concern.
“The most important thing is that we do it safely,” Bloomberg said.
“With the exception of the tragedy of two firefighters killed in the Deutsche Bank Building, this has been a phenomenally safe project,” Bloomberg told WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb. “Our second concern is that they do it right, so that this stands the test of time.”
“It’ll get done when it gets done as long as we do it safely, correctly, and economically,” he added.
Still, Bloomberg is impressed with the transformation taking place in lower Manhattan.
“When somebody writes the history of this site, I think those that worked on it – and continue to work on it – will come out having shown that they really did something great.”
What do you make of the mayor’s comments? Check out Chris Wragge’s complete interview with Mayor Bloomberg in the video below.