On the eve of the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced that an agreement between the Port Authority (which is controlled by the two states) and the September 11 Memorial & Museum to finish the work on the museum portion of the site.
The memorial portion of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum opened on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. The museum was supposed to open a year later. But no progress has been made in several months.
Joe Daniels, president of the museum, told Good Day NY on Tuesday that "hopefully" the museum would be completed by the end of 2013 or beginning of 2014.
"We were not going to let this anniversary come by without a deal. The Port Authority is committed to restarting construction and not stopping until it is completed," said Daniels.
Infighting between the museum's foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey stalled construction for almost a year. Legal issues, construction costs, and operating costs are at the center of the dispute.
"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," Cuomo said in a statement. "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."
In a statement, Christie said he was "gratified to be a part" of the deal.
"The delays were understandably frustrating for many, particularly the families, friends and loved ones of all the 9/11 victims. Yet, our mission to provide an enduring, deeply meaningful tribute to the victims and our collective national memory for what was endured by all of us eleven years ago never wavered," Christie said. "Working together, we will now move this project forward with conviction but also with proper transparency and oversight and at no further costs to tollpayers and taxpayers."
Riders should anticipate cancellations and delays on the Long Island Rail Road for the Tuesday evening rush. The railroad has canceled 21 trains that normally leave Penn Station between 3:27 and 7:01 p.m.