April 29, 2013

Weather postpones trade center's ascent to tallest

Verena Dobnik / The Associated Press

NEW YORK — One World Trade Center already is New York's tallest building.

Construction cranes work on assembling the rising spire on top of One World Trade Center in New York. It is already New York's tallest building. But when the last pieces of its spire go up to the roof on Monday, the 104-floor skyscraper will be one step away from becoming the highest in the Western Hemisphere.

AP

And when the last pieces of its spire eventually rise to the roof, the 104-floor skyscraper that replaces the fallen twin towers will be just feet from becoming the highest in the Western Hemisphere.

Officials had hoped that would happen Monday, but the weather did not cooperate and it was postponed due to high winds. The event will be rescheduled when conditions permit.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says the spire pieces and a steel beacon will be lifted at a later date from the rooftop to cap the building at 1,776 feet.

Installation of the 800-ton, 408-foot spire began in December, after 18 pieces were shipped from Canada and New Jersey.

The spire will serve as a world-class broadcast antenna.

With the beacon at its peak to ward off aircraft, the spire will provide public transmission services for television and radio broadcast channels that were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001, along with the trade center towers.

Overlooking the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the high-rise is scheduled to open for business in 2014.

The tower is at the northwest corner of the site, which is well on its way to reconstruction with the 72-story 4 World Trade Center and other buildings.

Monday's postponed celebration of the reconstructed trade center was to come days after a grisly reminder of the terror attack that took nearly 3,000 lives: the discovery of a rusted airplane part wedged between a nearby mosque and an apartment building — believed to be from one of the hijacked planes that ravaged lower Manhattan.

As officials prepared to erect the spire, the office of the city's chief medical examiner was working in the hidden alley where debris may still contain human remains.

The new tower's crowning spire is a joint venture between the ADF Group Inc. engineering firm in Terrebonne, Quebec, and New York-based DCM Erectors Inc., a steel contractor.

The tallest building in the Western Hemisphere is the Willis Tower in Chicago. The world's tallest building, topping 2,700 feet, is in Dubai.

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