Workers raise World Trade Center spire
There's still a lot of work to do, but construction workers topped off the new World Trade Center building by bolting a 400 foot spire into place.
The spire brings the iconic building to a height of 1,776 feet -- an allusion to the year the United States declared its independence. It also makes the building the tallest in the Western Hemisphere and the third-tallest in the world.
The company developing the building in partnership with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey confirmed the installation.
While the building still has significant construction before its scheduled 2014 opening, the installation brought cheers from New Yorkers, and from people around the country.
NYC is back ... America is back!" Twitter user TheJeffSullivan posted to the social networking site.
Twitter user mattnewby04 called it a "very powerful moment to see the figurative rebuilding of NYC."
The pieces installed Friday morning were hoisted to a temporary platform atop the building last week.
The spire contains 18 steel sections and three communication rings. The first -- and heaviest -- steel section was installed in January. It weighs more than 67 tons, according to a statement from the Port Authority.
It will serve as an antenna for a television broadcast facility housed in the building, which rises from the site near the original World Trade Center towers, which fell in the 2001 attacks.
While it is certainly encouraging that they have finally topped off the building, one should note that the building has been under construction for more than 6 years and delays having to do with the initial design and who would run the building showed government at its worst.
But they got everything straightened out eventually so we can celebrate the idea that we have made it all the way back from that horrible September day in 2001.