Spire Will Travel to Trade Center Tower Next Month Through Tribeca

Eight sections of the lower portion of the antenna are traveling by barge from Canada to Pier 25 in Tribeca. Photo courtesy of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey

The spire of 1 World Trade Center, the spindly antenna that will give the building its famed 1,776-foot height, is coming to Tribeca.

The lower nine of 18 sections of the 408-foot-high antenna structure are expected to arrive by barge at Tribeca's Pier 25 within the next few weeks. Each of the giant sections, up to 24 feet long and 20 feet in diameter, will be lifted by derrick crane onto a truck, then make a slow, nocturnal journey to 1 World Trade Center. It will travel one block up West Street to North Moore, east a block to Greenwich and down to the north side of 1 WTC, which has reached its full, spireless height. The first section could make the trip as early as Dec. 5, Brian Hegarty, the Port Authority's director of the 1 World Trade Center project, told Community Board 1's Tribeca Committee on Wednesday, Nov. 14.

The pieces are so large that electricians in bucket trucks, traveling in front of and behind the spire section, will move traffic light poles out of the way, then swing them back into place after the spire-toting truck has passed.

"You will see a very interesting train for this," Hegarty said.

The process for each section, beginning with the derrick operation, is expected to begin around 10:30 p.m. and end at 5 a.m. and could take place any day of the week, including weekends, Hegarty said.

Port Authority officials said the route, worked out with the Department of Transportation, is meant to cause the least impact to utilities, street furniture and traffic lights.

The pieces are so large, according to Hegarty, they could not travel directly down West Street because two pedestrian bridges stand in their way.

The size of the structures also prevents more than two sections at a time to be stored at the base of the building as they wait to be lifted into place. And because that hoisting is weather dependent, it is not certain how long it will take before all the sections can be off-loaded from their barge at Pier 25.

The whole process could take up to seven months, said Glenn Guzy, a Port Authority program director. No mention was made of the upper nine sections of the antenna.

"The overall goal is to move a piece or two a week," Guzy said.

The spire became a center of controversy earlier this year when developer Douglas Durst, who has a $100 million stake in 1 World Trade Center, announced that the antenna would shed its ornamental casing, a savings of $20 million, he said.

Critics questioned whether the unsheathed antenna should still count towards the building's 1,776-foot height, making it the tallest tower in North America.