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Green Lake Replaces Deutsche Bank Building

By Julie Shapiro | April 12, 2011 7:05pm | Updated on April 13, 2011 6:37am
The lake at the former Deutsche Bank site.
The lake at the former Deutsche Bank site.
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Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

By Julie Shapiro

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

LOWER MANHATTAN — A large green lake is filling the void left by the former Deutsche Bank building.

The Port Authority purposefully flooded the downtown construction site recently because without the weight of the former 41-story building, the ground at 130 Liberty St. was in danger of heaving up above street level, officials said.

The Deutsche Bank building rested on landfill, which in turn sits on a layer of groundwater that exerts an upward pressure, said Quentin Brathwaite, director of World Trade Center construction for the Port Authority.

The Port Authority is building new foundation walls to permanently keep the groundwater back, but in the meantime, the agency is using the 60-by-160 foot pool of water to keep the pressure in balance.

The pool of water will be in place through the end of July.
The pool of water will be in place through the end of July.
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Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

"The building provided opposite forces [to counteract the upward pressure]," Brathwaite told Community Board 1 Monday. "Now that the building is no longer there, we have to [create] opposite forces with water."

Residents near the site noticed the pool of water about two weeks ago and worried it would breed mosquitoes in the summer.

Glenn Guzi, a program director for the Port Authority, reassured CB1 that the Port is putting chemicals in the water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding there.

The reason the water is green is not because of the chemicals but because of natural lime in the ground, Guzi said.

The water will remain in place until the Port finishes building the site's foundation walls, likely by the end of July, a Port spokesman said.

The Port Authority is now working round-the-clock to excavate the site and build the foundation walls, to prevent the planned underground parking garage there from falling behind schedule.

The Port is putting in 19-hour days on the project, after the long-delayed Deutsche Bank demolition stretched the Port's original timeline, Guzi said.

Guzi said the underground garage will open in 2013 as long as the Port continues working from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Pat Moore, a CB1 member whose Cedar Street apartment overlooks the World Trade Center site, said she is exhausted by the constant beeping of truck backup alarms and pounding of giant jackhammers, called hoe rams.

"We've lived with all kinds of noise for the past five years," Moore said. "It really does wear on you."