Busy Pedestrian Zone at World Trade Center Widened

NEW YORK (AP) -

The most congested pedestrian area at Ground Zero was expanded, with construction chief Steven Plate cutting the yellow tape to widen the walkway on Vesey Street that flanks the 104-floor 1 World Trade Center, the nation’s tallest building.

“The World Trade Center is open for business,” announced Plate, standing near the rising skyscrapers built to replace the fallen Twin Towers. Publisher Conde Nast is expected to start moving into 1 World Trade Center this month as its anchor tenant.

As many as 15,000 people an hour use the block between Church and West Streets. The area is now up to about 30 feet wide. The previous walkway in some spots was as narrow as 8 feet, resulting in a squeezed human demolition derby at rush hours.

“The frozen zone is shrinking inch by inch, and New Yorkers are reclaiming the World Trade Center,” said Catherine McVay Hughes, chair of Community Board 1, which covers parts of Lower Manhattan.