18th Century Ship Discovered in World Trade Center Foundation Excavation

18th Century Ship in foundation excavation for WTC Vehicle Security Building

18th Century Ship in foundation excavation for WTC Vehicle Security Building

In the foundation and basement excavation for the Vehicle Security Center at the World Trade Center cite, an 18th century cargo ship was discovered approximately 20- to 30-ft below street level. It was likely a type of vessel known as a Brigantine, a work-horse of the coastal trade that may have travelled as far North as New England for lumber and as far South as Barbados to pick up sugar and mollasses.

Geotechnical specialty contractor Nicholson Construction (a GeoPrac.net sponsor) is a member of the joint venture constructing the foundations system. From the National Driller Magazine, Foundation Report email newsletter:

Nicholson, with joint venture partner E.E. Cruz, constructed the Vehicle Security Center’s perimeter foundation walls. The water-tight excavation support system includes 40,000 square feet diaphragm wall, 6,000-square-foot secant pile wall, and a jet grout cutoff wall. Nicholson currently is installing tieback anchors to support the foundation walls. The joint venture’s $41 million contract also includes the excavation of 160,000 cubic yards of rock, soil, and miscellaneous materials. The project is scheduled to be complete in late August.

I’m guessing that schedule might be delayed somewhat now! There is a really neat 360-degree panarama of the efforts to catalog and recover the ship at the site. [Source: NYTimes.com. Image: National Driller Foundations Report Newsletter]