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The Breaking of Michael Arad


The Numbers
How the Memorial Got So Expensive
In the building business, they call it “scope creep.” Back in January 2004, the LMDC loosely estimated the cost of the memorial at $350 million, with $175 million of that covering Port Authority infrastructure, like train tracks and a giant air-conditioning unit. The latest figures are up to $972 million, including $300 million for that infrastructure. Part of the rise is due to a 30 percent increase in the cost of construction materials, but there are also many items on the new punch list that planners had no idea about initially, such as the following:

Cost of lights and transformers for the reflecting pools: +$26 million

Approximate “hard cost” of the Memorial Museum, without contingencies, infrastructure, insurance, and other fees: +$110 million

Cost of new entrance for the Memorial Museum: +$22 million

Cost of holding up the slurry wall in the Memorial Museum: +$54 million

Museum exhibitions: +$22 million

Contingency design costs: +$36 million

Amount set aside for further escalation of construction costs: +$47 million

Amount raised by World Trade Center Memorial Foundation: $131.4 million


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