Warship to be made from Trade Center Steel
By JOEL STASHENKO
Associated Press Writer
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Steel salvaged from the wreckage of the World Trade Center was headed to a Mississippi shipyard Saturday for use in the USS New York, a warship named in honor of those who perished in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.
It was the Navy's idea to incorporate the steel into the vessel, said Capt. Kevin Wensing, a Navy public affairs officer in Washington.
He said the steel was removed Friday from the New York landfill that holds much of the debris from the twin towers and was being shipped to the Northrop Grumman shipyard at Pascagoula, Miss., where construction of the warship is to begin next year.
The USS New York will be the fifth of 12 amphibious assault ships in the San Antonio class, which the Navy calls one of its most technologically innovative. The 684-foot vessel will carry a crew of 402 plus as many as 800 Marines.
If the trade center scrap meets specifications, it will be melted down and used to configure the leading edge of the ship's bow, said Northrop Grumman spokesman Jim McIngdale.
The $800 million vessel should be ready for active duty in 2007.
"We're very proud that the twisted steel from the WTC towers will soon be used to forge an even stronger national defense," New York Gov. George Pataki said.
Currently, only submarines are given state names, but state officials lobbied Navy Secretary Gordon England to make an exception.
The structural steel, primarily from a section of beam about 20 feet long and weighing 20 to 30 tons, was part of the wreckage taken across New York Harbor to the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island after the Sept. 11 attack. It is believed to have been part of the south tower, the second of the twin skyscrapers hit by airliners hijacked by terrorists but the first to collapse.
Nearly 2,800 people died in the attack on the World Trade Center.
Most of the structural steel from the towers has already been sold for scrap.
Other Navy ships have been named USS New York or USS New York City. The most recent USS New York was a battleship, commissioned in 1914, that fought in both the Atlantic and Pacific during World War II.