The exorbitant costs of the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub have been well-reported: the station cost FOUR BILLION DOLLARS. As of today, New Yorkers can now walk through the station in its entirety, but they’ll want to take note of one particularly pricey element: If calculations are correct, a single 600-foot corridor is the most expensive hallway on the planet.
How’d we get here? Santiago Calatrava’s dinosaur skeleton station has long been described as a boondoggle. The architect is famous for building his fanciful structures after deadline and over budget (and then shouldering cities with excessive repairs and maintenance costs when they don’t hold up). But you could also blame disgraced New York Governor Eliot Spitzer: His administration recommended changes to keep the plan under the original and still ridiculous budget of $2.5 billion. But then Spitzer had that whole sex-with-a-hooker thing and resigned, and without his watchdogs, the costs ballooned to FOUR BILLION DOLLARS.
So what’s the grand total just for this one hallway? Keep in mind that the price includes not only the elegant details like the white marble but also the cost of digging the brand-new tunnel under West Street. A spokesperson for the Port Authority told Next City that the final cost for the underground pedestrian passageway was approximately—drumroll, please—$225 million! For some perspective, as Next City puts it: “$225 million would buy an entire subway station and one kilometer of tunnel in most continental European cities.” The WTC Transportation Hub has already earned the title of most expensive train station in history.
It’s already painfully obvious that New York City is sparing no expense for this development (hey, the new World Trade Center logo cost $3.57 million). But New Yorkers should be furious at this ridiculous waste of funds. If I lived there, I’d spend as much time in this hallway as possible. Maybe spend a night or two inside, just to get my money’s worth.
This story was originally published August 19, 2014 and has been updated to include the complete opening of the hallway.