The spire that will adorn One World Trade Center, the flagship skyscraper of the new World Trade Center, is finally nearing installation after a week-long journey brought most portions of the spire from Quebec, Canada to Port Newark in New Jersey. The spire, which was manufactured in Canada, was so large that many portions could not be driven on Manhattan streets, so they were shipped instead via boat, in sections weighing up to 10,000 tons, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
But the spire will face a unique journey when it travels next week from Tribeca to the WTC site. According to The Tribeca Tribune, the massive spire sections will force the closure of roads along the route to the WTC because the spire pieces are so large that they require traffic lights to be moved out of the way by electricians for them to pass. Although the move will take place only at night, from 10 pm to 5 am, travel along the route will be hampered when the move occurs. According to the New York Department of Transportation, the sections are expected travel one block up West Street to North Moore Street, then east a block to Greenwich Avenue and down to the north side of One WTC.
“You will see a very interesting train for this,” said Brian Hegarty, the Port Authority’s director of the 1 World Trade Center project, to Community Board 1’s Tribeca Committee in November.
When the spire is completed this March, One WTC will finally reach its symbolic height of 1,776 feet. But the spire has been in the middle of controversy this year, after the Durst Organization, which codevelops the property, announced that the spire would not include its signature white protective shell, and would remain just as an unenclosed antenna. This development lead to questions from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a sort of international governing body for skyscrapers, about the actual height of the building.
The Council’s determination of final architectural height includes spires, but not antennae, and thus One WTC could be ruled to be several hundred feet shorter than currently stated, which would mean it would lose its claim to be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. No official ruling has been made yet, but in May Council Spokesman Kevin Brass said the change “definitely raises questions” about the building’s true height, according to the New York Times.
Although One WTC, also known by its nickname the Freedom Tower, topped out more than a month ago, construction still continues on its inner workings, and even after the spire is finished more will need to be done before the tower’s expected opening date in late 2013.