Ground Zero 10 Years Later
INSIDE EDITION's Diane McInerney gets a rare glimpse at the progress at the site of the new World Trade Center. The process has been slow going and has faced setbacks, but it's finally back on track.
Ground Zero ten years after 9/11 is the largest construction site in America. One World Trade Center is rising quickly, floor by floor.
But the project is about so much more than glass and concrete and steel.
"At first it's just kind of awe-inspiring to be here, but I think the fact that this is an emotional site helps the team kind of come together," says Project Manager Lynda Tollner.
The attacks of 9/11 are never far from her mind. She worked at the first World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
"I was walking amongst debris and I just saw some really difficult things to look at," she remembers.
As you approach the building, it has the look of a fortress. One of the most remarkable features is something called the blast wall, an enormous 20-story concrete barrier.
"What you're seeing here is our blast wall, which will be covered in stone. For security reasons the design is to have a blast wall around the perimeter of the base of the building. "
But with all that's new, there are constant reminders of the past.
"Some of that steel is original steel from the original World Trade Center site," Tollner says.
Naturally, any potential tenant in the new building will be thinking about safety first.
McInerney asks, "How is it safer now?"
"This is going to be one of the safest buildings in New York," says Tollner. "We have a separate stairwell just for first responders to climb up, so that when they're climbing up there'll be no people trying to come down."
INSIDE EDITION's Diane McInerney got in the elevator and headed to the 39th floor, one floor of twenty to be occupied by Condé Nast, the publishers of Vanity Fair, GQ, Vogue, and Bon Appétit.
"They have about 20 floors of the lowest section, starting at 20, 20 to 41," Tollner says.
When it's complete, the building will be the tallest in the United States at 1,776 feet high. The height was chosen for its symbolic importance to America.
"We're at the 70th floor with the concrete core, I think we have slab poured to 72, we're moving at about a floor a week," Tollner tells McInerney.
The rebuilding is just one part of the rebirth of Ground Zero. The memorial below is what most people will be coming to see.
The memorial is set on eight acres and includes two reflecting pools set within the original footprints of the Twin Towers. It's a place for people to come and reflect and remember the victims of September 11.
The pools are the largest manmade waterfalls in North America.
"When you come here and you see the beautiful oak trees and the beautiful reflecting pools, how does it make you feel?" McInerney asks.
"It really makes me feel at peace and it makes me want to share it with everyone," says Tollner.
Names of the nearly 3,000 victims are etched in granite in memory of all those who lost their lives.
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