Pentagon Terror Damage Will Take Years to Repair
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2001 The Pentagon's chief renovation official said Oct. 2 that repairs on the building stemming from the Sept. 11 terrorist attack might take more than three years to complete.
Walker Evey, Pentagon renovation project manager, updates reporters at an Oct. 2, 2001, press conference on building repair and renovation efforts in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. Photo by Gerry J. Gilmore.
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The Pentagon's Wedge 1 section, which along with Wedge 2 took the brunt of the hijacked airliner's impact, had just undergone improvements as part of a total building renovation slated for completion by 2012.
The damaged wedge sections have to be torn down, cleared and rebuilt, and that will take about 18 months, said Walker Evey, Pentagon renovation project manager. He added it could take as much as another two years after that to distribute utilities for tenants and provide furniture, fixtures, equipment and carpeting.
"We'll certainly try to do it faster than that, however," he said, estimating it could cost around $800 million for repairs and renovations for the two sections.
Much of the debris from the impact has been removed, Evey said, noting that the FBI on Sept. 26 handed over crash site management to the Army's Military District of Washington. At that time, about 10,000 tons of debris had been removed during rescue and recovery efforts.
Damaged furniture, file cabinets and other debris originally moved by firefighters and relief workers still need to be removed, Evey said.
A current concern at the building is the growth of mold and mildew caused by water poured onto fires, Evey said. He said the building's air is tested extensively "to ensure that it's a healthy work environment." Historical materials housed in the recently renovated Pentagon library are unharmed, he added.
Evey noted that his staff of 300 has been working 15- to 18-hour days since the attack.
As a result of the attack, 125 people were killed or remain unaccounted for, not including the 64 passengers on the hijacked plane, according to DoD documents. To date, 118 remains have been recovered and transported to Dover Air Force Base, Del., for identification.