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Preparing for a transportation hub
at New York's World Trade Center

For the Permanent PATH Terminal at the site of the World Trade Center, a draft Environmental Impact Statement was needed on an expedited basis.


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in cooperation with the United States Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration, undertook the reconstruction of a permanent terminal at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan. The project was undertaken for the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) System.

The Federal Transit Administration was the designated federal lead agency, with the project coordinated through the Port Authority. The project was funded as part of the federal government’s multibillion-dollar Lower Manhattan Transportation Recovery Effort.


Mott MacDonald was part of the multidisciplinary team performing the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the terminal. We performed a baseline assessment to characterize current conditions with respect to contaminated materials, infrastructure and energy, as well as construction materials and methods.

The baseline description, or affected environment, was prepared under pre-September 11 baseline conditions as well as under a changed scenario given the site conditions as a result of the events of September 11, 2001.

Impacts were assessed under four alternative scenarios for three time periods (construction period, opening year, and design year):

  • Future common to all alternatives
  • No-action alternative
  • Alternative with a Liberty Plaza Connection
  • Alternative without a Liberty Plaza Connection

The project included extensive historical research and contact with a numerous agencies. The project was approached through a team concept and its success exemplifies the ability of individual team members and firms to meet or exceed interim and final deadlines.


The Permanent PATH Terminal is a regional transportation hub that reestablishes transportation access and to Lower Manhattan. The facility is coordinated with existing as well as future transportation infrastructure.

The technical expertise of all the involved parties as well as the cooperation among team members, as well as cooperation between the team and regulatory agencies and project agencies/partners, allowed this project to be accomplished within the aggressive nine-month schedule for preparation and issuance of a preliminary Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

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