"Submarine Walls" May Be Added At Trade Center, Post-Sandy

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The Port Authority confirms it's considering adding so-called "submarine walls" to the World Trade Center site, as a result of Sandy.

These are waterproof doors with a pressure seal, which would be installed four levels below ground to protect vital equipment from another storm surge.

Jay Badame, President of Tishman Construction, said at a breakfast sponsored by Crain’s New York Business that Sandy revealed the site is prone to flooding.  Before Sandy, Badame said "we would never have thought of adding a submarine door."

“These are areas where one area gets affected, you have to basically ballast it off from another area, as you have in a submarine,” Badame said. “You have to create a bathtub within a bathtub. The Trade Center site is a 16 acre bathtub.”

Badame noted that construction plans have mainly been designed with another terrorist attack in mind: there are wider stairways so fire fighters can easily get inside, and stronger walls to withstand a bomb blast, "to make the building stronger, harder," Badame said, adding that, post-Sandy "you're looking at that core also to be a mini-submarine."

A spokesman for the Port Authority said all options are under consideration, and no decision has yet been made on whether to add submarine doors.