Audit: World Trade Center Rebuilding Balloons $4B

Navigant Consulting said the Port Authority is a dysfunctional organization that has let the World Trade Center rebuilding project's costs get out of control

By Chris Hawley
|  Wednesday, Feb 8, 2012  |  Updated 9:00 PM EDT
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The staggering $15 billion price tag for rebuilding the World Trade Center is billions more than the agency in charge promised. The findings are revealed in a new audit of the Port Authority. Andrew Siff goes to find out why.

NBC New York

The staggering $15 billion price tag for rebuilding the World Trade Center is billions more than the agency in charge promised. The findings are revealed in a new audit of the Port Authority. Andrew Siff goes to find out why.

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The agency building the new World Trade Center has let costs get out of control, with the estimated price tag soaring nearly $4 billion over the last four years, auditors said Tuesday.

Navigant Consulting said the project is now expected to cost $14.8 billion, 35 percent more than the last estimate, of $11 billion, in 2008.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered the review of the World Trade Center site's owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, after the agency's board voted to raise bridge and tunnel tolls in August.

The auditors said the Port Authority, which runs area transit hubs including Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, is "a challenged and dysfunctional organization suffering from a lack of consistent leadership, a siloed underlying bureaucracy, poorly coordinated capital planning processes, insufficient cost controls and a lack of transparent and effective oversight of the World Trade Center program that has obscured full awareness of billions of dollars in exposure to the Port Authority."

The Port Authority has lost millions of dollars in revenue because of lower traffic at the ports, airports and river crossings it operates, and the World Trade Center has suffered a number of setbacks since rebuilding began after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks destroyed its Twin Towers.

The company that is laying steel for the main tower has run into financial problems. A mistake in the design means the Port Authority will have to spend millions of dollars on temporary loading docks for the building. And the builders of the Sept. 11 museum are fighting with the agency over construction costs.

The Port Authority's new director, Patrick Foye, said Tuesday the agency was taking the auditing firm's recommendations seriously and would begin an overhaul of its structure.

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