Sept. 11 Memorial to Open with Limited AccessOct 07, 2008
The Sept. 11 memorial will open to the public on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, then will only allow limited visits for a year while construction continues, an official heading the rebuilding effort says.
Christopher Ward, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, told a City Council committee Monday that after an opening ceremony on Sept. 11, 2011, the memorial wouldn’t be completely accessible to the public until late 2012.
Ward said it was “unlikely” when asked at the hearing whether visitors could expect unimpeded access to any part of the memorial until 2012.
The agency last week announced a new set of budgets and timelines for ground zero that guaranteed a public opening of the memorial to the terrorist attacks on the 10th anniversary.
The agency’s report last week warned that the area would still remain a construction site, but indicated the aboveground memorial would be open to the public after the 10th anniversary.
Between 2011 and 2012, “there will be controlled public access that will be determined by the memorial foundation the city of New York and the Port Authority based on what is safe and responsible,” the agency said in a statement Tuesday.
The agency wouldn’t say how many people would be allowed to pay respects at the memorial during that time. Officials have projected at least 5 million people a year would visit the memorial when it is open.
“We will continue to work with the Port Authority to try to ensure as much completion and public accessibility as possible in time for the 10th anniversary and beyond that date,” said Lynn Rasic, spokeswoman for the memorial foundation.
The memorial, “Reflecting Absence,” includes two reflecting pools with cascading waterfalls built over the destroyed trade center footprints, surrounded by a cobblestone plaza with hundreds of trees.