The Port says the Tutor Perini construction contract comes in at28% below the $248-million budget estimate for the project. In arelease, the Port attributes the favorable bid to what it calls theagency's "restructured procurement process" implemented earlierthis year, to take advantage of what it calls a "hungry,competitive construction market."

The Port says that the so-called top-down approach allows thesubway box bracing to be completed ahead of previous schedules,ensuring public access to the 9/11 Memorial on Sept. 11, 2011. Alsoat Thursday's meeting, the Port's board authorized a $4.5-millioncontract to Atlantic Hoist and Scaffolding, LLC to extend the VeseyStreet pedestrian bridge over the intersection of Vesey andWashington Streets, 50 feet east of Washington. The bridge willhave an elevator, escalator and staircase.

During the WTC redevelopment subcommittee meeting held earlieron Thursday, board members lavished praise on World Trade Centerproject director Stephen P. Plate, for moving the project along ata more accelerated rate and completing milestones. Later, inresponse to questions over missed deadlines and reports, includinglast week's leaked Lower Manhattan Construction Command Centeranalysis that put completion of the 9/11 memorial two years behindschedule and Tower One four years late, Port Authority executivedirector Chris Ward said "we are confident in the dates weannounced."

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