It’s been almost 11 years since 9/11 when the original World Trade Center towers fell, and construction workers are frantically scrambling to finish the job of building what people in New York City call the “Freedom Tower”.
One World Trade Center, as the building is officially called, is weeks away from surpassing the height of Empire State building, currently the tallest building in Manhattan.
When workers add the spire to the top of the new building, it will be the tallest building in the United States at 1,776 feet, the year the United States declared independence from Great Britain.
It will be the third tallest building in the world by pinnacle height to the top of the spire but will be 82 feet shorter in roof height than the roof of Chicago’s Willis Tower (also the Sears Tower).
It will also be the tallest building when finished in the Western Hemisphere by pinnacle height.
Some workers lost loved ones on 9/11
Eric Hunt, an iron worker currently working to build the new skyscraper, sifted through the rubble for survivors on 9/11.
“Every man here has put a sense of pride into this building and it’s just heavy duty, has armor. It’s modern day pyramids,” Hunt said.
New features designed to make building safer from terrorist attacks
The Port Authority has stated: “Its structure is designed around a strong, redundant steel moment frame consisting of beams and columns connected by a combination of welding and bolting. Paired with a concrete-core shear wall, the moment frame lends substantial rigidity and redundancy to the overall building structure while providing column-free interior spans for maximum flexibility.”
3 feet of thick reinforced concrete will surround all stairwells, elevator shafts, risers, and sprinkler systems. Biological and chemical air filters will filter air throughout the building.
A dedicated stairwell for firefighters will run the height of the building for quicker access.
Most expensive building in the world
The building has cost New York City taxpayers and private companies $3.8 billion, making it the priciest building in the world to build.
The State of New York provided $250 million toward construction costs, and the Port Authority agreed to finance a further $1 billion through the sale of bonds.