New Yorkers have grown accustomed to the the huge pit at Ground Zero, the site of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
As powerful players wrangled for control of the redevelopment plan for the World Trade Center site, public impatience only grew.
Finally, as the city marks the ninth anniversary of 9/11, the development seems to be moving in the right direction.
On September 7, senior New York City and state officials brought together the site's once-feuding developers, the Port Authority of New York and Silverstein Properties.
"Today, it's full steam ahead," said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "New Yorkers deserve to see this hole in the heart of our city healed at last, and America expects us to do what's right."
"We have a plan, we have a budget, we have the partners, and we have the construction team that can get it done," said Port Authority Executive Director Christopher Ward. "We have, in the last two and half years, brought this site to a point that very few thought we would."
The tallest of the nine skyscrapers planned for the site, One World Trade Center, has already been constructed up to the 36th of its 109 stories. The other structures are also visibly making headway.
To commemorate the progress in the redevelopment of the site, two 50-ton steel columns from the original Twin Towers were erected as cornerstones of the future WTC museum and memorial.
Heavy digging equipment and machinery at the southwestern corner of the WTC development site.
View from the south at the WTC development site. The glass building in the middle is the first finished structure of the new complex -- Four World Trade Center.
The major players in the WTC redevelopment plan: Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia (left), the developer Larry Silverstein, New York State Governor David Paterson, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Construction workers prepare the iron grid for the concrete foundation of Six World Trade Center.
A rendering of the transit lobby of Three WTC
One of the two 21-meter-long, 50-ton steel beams from the original Twin Towers is positioned at the site of the future WTC museum and memorial.
Initial work begins on one of the two memorial reflecting pools and waterfalls at the footprints of the original Twin Towers. Officials have promised to open the Memorial Plaza by September 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
An aerial view of the 9/11 memorial with the two reflecting pools and waterfalls at the footprints of the original Twin Towers. The complex is scheduled to be finished by 2018.
A rendering of the Memorial Pool Names Parapet that will be installed at the WTC site.