The 9/11 Memorial.
Photo by Jacqueline

NEW YORK CITY-On the eve of the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, the National September Memorial & Museum and Gov. Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg and Chris Christie reached an agreement late Monday to re-start construction on the 9/11 Museum. The deal settles a $300 million financial dispute between the Port and the foundation that caused work to halt at the eight-acre site several months ago. The museum was originally scheduled for completion this year.

According to the memorandum of understanding reached by the Port and the foundation that oversees the memorial, the Port–the bi-state agency that oversees the site–plans to accelerate construction of the museum following a due diligence review of the foundation’s financial capacity and resources. Once construction has resumed full pace, it will be continued unless the Museum fails to pay on a timely basis any amount required to be paid, the agreement says.

The foundation agreed to pay $17 million to the Port for the work, and subsequently, the agency anticipates $150 million in cost savings based upon “agreed upon reduction of anticipated overtime costs, a moratorium on change orders and contributions the Memorial will make to the project.” The agreement also establishes a site-wide coordination task force to ensure all activities that impact World Trade Center stakeholders are appropriately coordinated.

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In a statement, Cuomo hailed the agreement as a victory for not only the city and state–but 9/11 families. “As New Yorkers and Americans gather on the anniversary of the tragic terrorist attacks, we pause once again to remember those we lost and the enormous sacrifice of the brave heroes who rushed into the gravest of dangers,” he says. “Over the last few years, we have made extraordinary progress at Ground Zero and today’s agreement is yet another milestone in our work to finally complete the site as a place where people from around the world can come to work, visit and remember. By ensuring that no additional public funds are spent to complete the Memorial and Museum, today’s agreement puts in place a critical and long overdue safeguard to finally protect toll payers and taxpayers from bearing further costs, and, at the same time, put the project on a path for completion.”

The agreement did not lay out a construction timetable or estimated completion date. For more 9/11 coverage, please check later today.