Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canada inspires trade centre tower

Topper partly built here

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NEW YORK -- One World Trade Center, the skyscraper that replaces the fallen twin towers in New York City, is about to receive the last pieces of its crowning spire, a 124-metre structure built in part in Canada.

Once the spire is installed, the 104-storey highrise, already New York's tallest building, will be just metres from becoming the highest in the Western Hemisphere.

Officials had hoped that would happen Monday, but the weather did not co-operate and it was postponed due to high winds. The event will be rescheduled when conditions permit.

The new tower's crowning spire is a joint venture between the Montreal-based ADF Group Inc. engineering firm and New York-based DCM Erectors Inc., a steel contractor.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the spire pieces and a steel beacon will be lifted at a later date from the rooftop to cap the building at 541 metres.

Installation of the 800-tonne spire began in December, after 18 pieces were shipped from Canada and New Jersey.

The spire will serve as a world-class broadcast antenna. With the beacon at its peak to ward off aircraft, the spire will provide public transmission services for television and radio broadcast channels that were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001, along with the trade centre towers.

Overlooking the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the highrise is scheduled to open for business in 2014.

The tower is at the northwest corner of the site, which is well on its way to reconstruction with the 72-storey 4 World Trade Center and other buildings.

Monday's postponed celebration of the reconstructed trade centre was to come days after a grisly reminder of the terror attack that took nearly 3,000 lives: the discovery of a rusted airplane part wedged between a nearby mosque and an apartment building -- believed to be from one of the hijacked planes that ravaged lower Manhattan.

As officials prepared to erect the spire, the office of the city's chief medical examiner was working in the hidden alley where debris may still contain human remains.

The tallest building in the Western Hemisphere is the Willis Tower in Chicago. The world's tallest building, topping 823 metres, is in Dubai.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 30, 2013 A10

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