A ship carrying eight sections of the giant WTC spire that will potentially make One World Trade Center the nation's tallest building is on its way to New York City. The barge carrying the giant WTC spire is expected to arrive in Port Newark in New Jersey sometime next week where it will then be delivered via truck to the Ground Zero site in Manhattan. The entire 458-ft spire is divided into 18 sections that weigh between 5 tons and more than 67 tons. The remaining sections are expected to be delivered in mid-December.
You can view the barge's progress online here.
Once the giant WTC spire is installed atop One World Trade Center the building will stand a symbolic 1,776-ft tall, a number that pays homage to the year the United States issued the Declaration of Independence. The initial design of the spire allowed One World Trade to be considered to be the tallest building in the U.S. and in the entire Western Hemisphere. However, recent changes to the design may put that title in jeopardy.
Developers decided in May to scrap plans for an ornamental white shell that would have surrounded the giant WTC spire because of cost overruns and safety concerns. This seemingly innocuous change to the design has major implications as far as categorizing the height of One World Trade is concerned. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the organization that sets guidelines for establishing the official heights of buildings, does not allow an unexposed antenna like the giant WTC spire to be counted towards a building's official height.
Without the inclusion of the antenna mast, One World Trade Center's official height would be its roof height of 1,318 feet, making it only the third-tallest building in the United States, behind the Willis Tower and Trump International Hotel & Tower, both located in Chicago.
Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman told The Daily Mail that, despite the redesigns to the giant WTC spire, "One World Trade Center will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere."
The CTBUH announced it would not make a final decision on the building's height until after One World Trade Center is completed next year.
The giant WTC spire almost didn't get delivered due to a legal dispute between Canadaian manufacturer ADF Steel and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. ADF was delaying the shipment of the giant WTC spire because it claims it is owed $6 million from the Port Authority from another WTC-related project. The port Authority filed a lawsuit saying that ADf was holding the giant WTC spire "hostage." Developers were worried the dispute wouldn't be resolved in time to ship the giant WTC spire because the coming winter weather would ice-over important shipping lanes, such as the St. Lawrence river.
Luckily for developers the dispute was resolved in time to ensure delivery of the $10 million spire that will sit atop the (maybe) tallest building in the nation.