The first steel columns for the Freedom Tower were placed December 19 at Ground Zero. The columns were produced in Luxembourg and fabricated in Lynchburg, Va. Six additional columns will be installed by the end of this year. An additional tier of columns will be raised on top of the initial columns by mid-January bringing the column heights to over 65 feet tall and nearly to grade. The first lift of all 27 jumbo columns that form the perimeter will be installed in the spring as the tower's core is built. This shipment of steel is the first of what ultimately will be 45,000 tons of steel that will be used to build the Freedom Tower.
The Freedom Tower, World Trade Center Memorial and the Transportation Hub are all under construction. Excavation work on the Freedom Tower is nearly complete and concrete pours are over halfway through. Blasting and excavation on the Memorial and Memorial Museum is under way. On the Transportation Hub, concrete foundation work is well under way along with a majority of the casings for the minipile underpinnings. Water mains have been installed and utilities have been relocated, and work on the west bathtub and north/south shear wall is ongoing. The slurry wall construction for the east bathtub is also in progress.