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Pedestrian Underpass Leak in Lower Manhattan Called Minor

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Owner Brookfield Properties says the worst of several leaks during construction of a tunnel—under Route 9A linking the World Financial Center and the future World Trade Center development—is well under control and the site is secure. The Nov. 4 leak, 30 ft below existing grade in a section under Brookfield’s WFC, itself built on a relieving platform over the Hudson River, was a “minor issue,” says a spokesman for Brookfield. The tunnel’s contractor, Turner Construction Co., referred inquiries to the the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. The Port Authority attributes the leak, which flooded part of the tunnel site, to a flaw between overlapping joints within the temporary wall installed to allow zoned construction of the permanent concrete tunnel. “There was never any threat of flooding” the WTC site, says a Port Authority spokesman. Workers repaired the leak by installing a 13-inch steel casing within the flawed wall joint, and drilling and grouting various holes. When crews began pumping out flood water, the repair appeared to be holding, says the spokesman. Work in that particular zone has been delayed but work in the other parts of the tunnel continues. A program for evaluating future wall leaks is under development as well as procedures for mitigating future leaks, says the Port Authority.

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