Timeline of WTC Recovery

A timeline of the recovery operation after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

— Sept. 11: The night of the attack, thousands of rescuers, construction workers and volunteers begin picking through a 10-story pile of burning rubble.

— Sept. 14: President Bush visits the ruins. Supply tents for food, clothing and equipment are erected.

— Sept. 20: Forty U.S. senators visit site. A day later, Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller and Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert start a steady stream of dignitaries visiting ground zero.

— Sept. 24: Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says many victims may never be recovered; announces faster process to obtain death certificates. City says death toll could be more than 6,700.

— Sept. 28: Crews begin assembling cranes capable of lifting hundreds of tons of debris at a time; officials estimate cleanup will last one year and cost as much as $7 billion.

— Oct. 2: Giuliani announces that each victim's family would receive a wooden urn with dirt from the ruins.

— Oct. 4: Two cast-iron beams in the shape of a cross are hoisted atop a 40-foot-high foundation. The "cross" becomes a gathering place for workers and one of the best-known symbols of the site.

— Oct. 31: Officials say nearly $200 million in gold and silver, buried under a ruined building at the site, has been removed.

— Nov. 2: Hundreds of firefighters march to ground zero and City Hall, some scuffling with police, in an emotional protest over Giuliani's decision to scale back the number of rescue workers at the site. The decision is later reversed.

— Nov. 19: Official death toll falls below 4,000 as city continues to find duplications and errors in initial missing-person reports.

— Nov. 27: More than 1,000 downtown residents are still displaced.

— Dec. 15: The last piece of the jagged trade center facade is pulled down; several pieces are stored for possible use in a memorial.

— Dec. 19: Gov. George Pataki says the fires that have burned at ground zero since the attack have been extinguished.

— Dec. 29: The city opens a viewing platform for the public to see the trade center ruins.

— Jan. 4: Work focuses on subterranean debris. Largest cranes are dismantled; all major buildings now cleared away. Official death toll falls below 2,900.

— Jan. 9: One million tons of debris now removed from the site.

— Jan. 22: Crews lay the foundation for a ramp that will allow recovery workers to remove the last of the rubble. City predicts work will end in early summer.

— March 11: Two shafts of massed seachlight beacons shoot into the night sky, designed to simulate the 110-story twin skyscrapers for a month-long "Tribute in Light."

— March 28: The first of 86 firetrucks ordered by the department to replace those lost in the attacks is delivered to a downtown firehouse.

— March 29: The Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and West Street, major arteries in lower Manhattan, open to traffic.

— May 7: Rescue workers report that no human remains other than small bones have been found in recent weeks.

— May 28: Last standing steel beam is cut down during ceremony for ground zero workers. Death toll stands at 2,823.


— May 30: City officials, rescue workers and victims' relatives to hold ceremony marking end of remains recovery.

— June 2: Families to gather at site for separate ceremony that will accommodate those unable to attend others.

— July: Up to six proposals for rebuilding plans are to be submitted to the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

— July 20: Thousands are expected to attend a public input meeting at the Jacob Javits Center on the rebuilding plans.

— September: Redevelopment officials will choose up to three plans.

— December: A final plan for the site is expected.