World Trade Center Price Tag Now $14.8 Billion
Auditors overseeing the ballooning costs of the World Trade Center called the agency responsible for the buildings' construction "dysfunctional" for not keeping costs under control.
The estimated price tag of the World Trade Center complex has gone up $3.8 billion since 2008, when the cost was determined at around $11 billion, Navigant Consulting, Inc., said in its audit of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The governors of New York and New Jersey ordered the audit to be conducted. Both governors have been highly critical of the Port Authority, which is responsible for the airports, seaports and river crossings in the New York City area, according to The Associated Press.
The Port Authority is "a challenged and dysfunctional organization suffering from a lack of consistent leadership, a soiled underlying bureaucracy, poorly coordinated capital planning processes, insufficient cost controls, and a lack of transparent and effective oversight of the World Trade Center program," auditors wrote.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie both called the increase "staggering."
The Port Authority has seen its debt rise from $9.1 billion in 2001 to $19.5 billion, auditors said.
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The Port Authority does not collect any tax revenue so it must pay those debts with a combination of airport surcharges, bridge and tunnel tolls, port fees and rent from the agency's other properties.
Port Authority had been promised that it will be reimbursed for most of the construction costs. Yet the Port Authority portion of the costs is estimated to be $7.7 billion which is nearly 30 percent more than the last estimate of $6 billion, auditors said.
One World Trade Center is scheduled to reach 104 stories and is currently 90 stories high. The pace of construction has slowed and officials have blamed winter weather for the delays. Officials still maintain that it is still on schedule to open in late 2013.