May 2, 2013
6:46 PM EDT
The final sections of a 125-metre spire were hoisted to the top of One World Trade Centre on Thursday, signalling a close to the saga between the New York development team and a Quebec steel manufacturer that once threatened to bring the whole operation to a halt.
The last two pieces of the spire, draped in the American flag, were hauled up more than 410 metres in what organizers called “a historic milestone.”
Thursday also marked the two-year anniversary of Osama Bin Laden’s death at the hands of U.S. Navy Seals.
The spire — comprised of 18 pieces that will provide the necessary footage to make One World Trade Centre the tallest tower in the western hemisphere — was shipped to a lower Manhattan pier from Quebec in November, following a resolution between the French-Canadian steel manufacturer and the Port Authority.Spencer Platt/Getty Images
In October 2012, the Port Authority responsible for constructing the tower filed a lawsuit against ADF Group Inc. with the New York Supreme Court. In the lawsuit, Terrebonne, Que., manufacturer is accused of holding the spire “ransom.”
Last fall, Jean Paschini, the CEO of ADF Group, told the National Post that he was holding the steel in his backyard until the Port Authority made good on an outstanding $6-million payment he claimed was due on other structural steel work his company had completed for the project.
“I’m not holding it hostage,” Mr. Paschini told the Post. “Pay me and then you get your antenna. Let’s resolve everything, then you get your nice antenna so you can put it up.”New York Port Authority
As the St. Lawrence Seaway edged closer to freezing — which would have postponed the spire delivery until spring 2013 — the two parties came to a resolution by Oct. 23 and the steel was sent on its 1,500 nautical-mile journey to New York.
“Although we were pressured to settle the dispute as quickly as possible,” reads an Oct.31 quarterly report from ADF group, “we demonstrated a fair, forthright and direct attitude to protect the Corporation’s assets and health.”
Port Authority representatives were not willing to discuss the terms of the “confidential settlement.” ADF Group CEO, Mr. Paschini, said he received a payment before shipping the spire, but would not divulge the amount.Spencer Platt/Getty Images
“They paid and we delivered,” he said from his Quebec home on Tuesday. “No harm done. We’re OK. At that time, I was upset but everything is resolved. It’s just business.
“We’re proud. It was devastating when we saw [the towers] come down, but we’re proud to be part of this.”
The first sections of the spire were hoisted to the roof of the iconic landmark in Lower Manhattan’s newly restored skyline in December 2012, quelling fears that ADF’s refusal to ship the spire would compromise tower’s completion schedule.STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images Spencer Platt/Getty Images Mark Lennihan / The Associated Press
National PostComments Join the conversation →