Volume 17 • Issue 32 • Dec. 31, 2004 - Jan. 6, 2005

Wils: Tunnel extension will push costs to $1 billion

Madelyn Wils, a member of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. board of directors, said that extending the proposed West St. tunnel two blocks north to Murray St. will cost an additional $160 to $170 million. The proposal, to sink the six-lane highway beneath a landscaped surface, is already pegged at $860 million.

“I don’t know how or who will be paying for this,” Wils, also chairperson of Community Board 1, said at the Dec. 21 C.B. 1 meeting. “This will have to be resolved one way or another. The governor is the one who’s going to make this decision and he hasn’t made it yet.”

Goldman Sachs, which plans to build its new headquarters in Battery Park City between Vesey and Murray Sts., wants a two-block extension to avoid a 260-foot wide tunnel ramp at its entrance. The alternative tunnel ramp entrance would abut P.S./I.S. 89 and the Battery Park City ball fields.

Goldman Sachs has now raised the stakes on the extension, saying that a Vesey St. tunnel entrance would be “a deal breaker,” the New York Post reports. Brookfield Properties, which owns nearby World Financial Center, and a long supporter of the tunnel, reportedly supports Goldman Sachs’ stance, citing fears of a residential development in its place.

Another tunnel supporter, Tim Carey, president of the Battery Park City Authority, told Downtown Express a few weeks ago that he still prefers a Vesey St. entrance.

The tunnel is opposed by Community Board 1 and many residents of B.P.C. either because they think it’s too costly, will take too long to build or will make the street less safe because of the ramps.

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