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July 5, 2008 --

THE ISSUE: The ongoing challenges and delays facing reconstruction at Ground Zero.

The news about the World Trade Center's latest delays and cost overruns is neither surprising nor unexpected ("Big Fat Zero," July 1).

Sadly, the powers that be have produced nothing but embarrassment and failure for New Yorkers and the American people.

We thought that we would get fortitude and resolve in the aftermath of 9/11. Instead, we started off with a money grab that has degenerated into an orgy of bungling whiners looking to blame someone else for their lack of guts.

Perhaps the plans for Ground Zero should be scaled back to include a couple of nondescript, two-story office buildings.

That would certainly be a fitting tribute to our public ineptitude.

Larry Schmieder

How is it that in Dubai they are building man-made islands, but we can't put up some buildings?

I'm sure that those responsible for 9/11 are laughing at us. They have placed what seems like a permanent scar on this city, and, seven years later, nothing is being done about it.

I'm tired of the red tape, the politicians and, yes, even some of the families of the victims.

While my heart goes out to all of them, I think the best way to honor those lost would have been to rebuild as quickly as possible.

Forget all those hideous designs we've seen. Put the towers back up as they were.

Christina Antolos

Congratulations to The Post for a record of challenging the failures at the WTC.

One aspect of the article is hugely disappointing, but it is an example of how unfounded all discussion on the topic has been.

That Larry Silverstein is even mentioned as a part of the cause of the delays is absurd and beyond reason. A conservative, free-market paper should be embarrassed to go in that direction.

Six months to modify the buildings' designs to meet the real needs of clients is a step in the right direction.

The problem is that, for years, a world-class, city redevelopment project has been run on a foundation of feel-good rhetoric without any budget consciousness or sense of real-world priorities.

David Stanke

The Chinese would have completed the Ground Zero construction three years ago.

Peter Stanick

It took less than a year and a half to put up the Empire State Building, from excavation to ribbon cutting, and that was in the early 1930's, when skyscraper construction was in its infancy.

Why, then, will it take 13 years to build the Freedom Tower?

The Port Authority calls for "construction professionals" to be brought in to straighten the mess out. But it might be wiser to bring in "corruption professionals" to examine why this project is riddled with delays and cost overruns.

Michael Balton

Why can't we just put Donald Trump in charge of the WTC rebuilding process?

He gets things done, and he could have rebuilt the Twin Towers four times over by now.

Ryan McCormick

If the executives at the Port Authority who are in charge of overseeing the rebuilding of the World Trade Center were in the private sector, they would have been fired by now for incompetence.

Thank goodness for civil service.

Robert McKenna

If these windbags in Albany were around when the Brookyn Bridge and the Empire State Building were being put together, we would still be ferrying across the Hudson and King Kong would still be looking for a building to climb.

Ground Zero is not at the Battery, it's in Albany. They couldn't even get that right.

Rae Mackenzie