PATH to Ruin: New York Builds the World's Costliest Train Station

Stephen Jacob Smith examines how high emotions, grand designs, poor negotiating, and "extreme politicization" drove the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to build the world's most expensive train station in Lower Manhattan.
EveryPicture / Wikimedia Commons

The Port Authority has been very good at one thing in the last decade: spending money. 

"One World Trade Center, born the Freedom Tower and taken over by the Port in 2006, will be the most expensive office building in the world. The 'Vehicle Security Center,' an underground tour bus garage and road network serving the World Trade Center complex, may very well be the most expensive parking garage in history," notes Smith.

"And then there’s the PATH station to New Jersey, the most troubled project at one of the world’s most troubled construction sites. At $3.74 billion, plus another $200 million in contingencies, the 'Transportation Hub' at the World Trade Center—not even the busiest station in the Financial District—will be far and away the most expensive train station built in modern history."

"When the grandiose ambitions and the emotions of 9/11 met with the famously flush Port Authority, disaster struck," says Smith. "Mission creep, an inattentive governor and extreme politicization sent costs skyward, eventually outstripping even the record-setting resources devoted to it."

Full Story: PATH/Fail: The Story of the World’s Most Expensive Train Station


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