In New York, construction has begun on a new skyscraper that will rise where the World Trade towers stood before they were destroyed in the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks.

A line of excavation trucks rolled into the pit called Ground Zero Thursday, signaling the beginning of construction on the so-called Freedom Tower.  New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the governors of New York and New Jersey applauded the construction workers as they moved down the ramp into the pit.

Plans to rebuild the site have been plagued by disputes ever since architect Daniel Libeskind drew the first design of the tower, with an off-center spire that mimics the Statue of Liberty.

On Wednesday, the developer, Larry Silverstein, came to an agreement with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the land, clearing the way for construction to begin.

In all, five skyscrapers will be built alongside a memorial to the victims of the terror attacks.

Silverstein holds a 99-year lease on the Trade Center site, but has agreed that the Port Authority will control two of the five new skyscrapers, including the Freedom Tower.

The 541 meter tall tower has been re-designed several times.  Some officials warn that it too could become a target for terrorists.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.