Construction launched on place of World Trade Center

Construction has begun on a major transportation center at the site of the World Trade Center, destroyed in the Sept 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Local authorities, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Governor George Pataki, were at the ceremony marking the start of construction, Agence France-Presse reported.

The transportation hub will link underground trains, ferries and buses, and serve some 80,000 passengers daily when it opens for business in 2009. The expected price tag is 2.2 bln usd, Forbes reports.

"This is a momentous occasion for the World Trade Center site and for the rebirth of Lower Manhattan," Pataki said.

Bloomberg said the hub 'will provide the infrastructure necessary to attract businesses, workers and residents to Lower Manhattan'.

Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who designed the new site, was also present.

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