Yesterday was yet another sign of the rebuild of Lower Manhattan. 8+ years after the attack on September 11th, the Cortland Street station reopened to the public, even if it was only the Queens-bound side. The MTA held a ceremony at the event which I could not attend but here are the summarized details from a press release sent to me:
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today reopened the northbound side of the Cortlandt Street R/W subway station – just in time for the busy holiday shopping and travel season. The station is located next to the Century 21 department store, the Millennium Hotel, and the World Trade Center site. MTA Chairman and CEO Jay H. Walder was joined by Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senator Daniel Squadron and Council Member Alan Gerson at the re-opening ceremony.
“Today we celebrate a significant step forward in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan,” said Walder. “The MTA has played a key role in the revival of Downtown and we’re excited to provide customers with an improved station just in time for the holidays. The opening re-establishes a key travel link for Lower Manhattan residents, commuters, shoppers and tourists.”
The re-opened station includes several improvements: wider stairways will now allow for more people to enter and exit the station with less crowding; a 150-foot long section of the newly rehabilitated northbound platform is now wider than before; and the walls have been re-tiled.
“The opening of the northbound platform signifies an important milestone towards the completion of the Fulton Street Transit Center Project,” said Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, President of MTA Capital Construction. “This is an important day for the community and we will continue this great momentum so that customers enjoy additional benefits as each element of the project is completed.”
The Cortlandt Street station, like the neighboring Cortlandt Street station on the 1 line, was badly damaged in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Following the attacks, the R/W station initially reopened on September 15, 2002, before being closed again on August 20, 2005, to accommodate excavation and construction of the Dey Street underground pedestrian concourse, a part of the Fulton Street Transit Center being built by MTA Capital Construction.
The $7.25 million project to rehabilitate and improve the northbound side of the station was funded entirely by the Federal government. The MTA expects to open the southbound platform, which is within the World Trade Center reconstruction footprint, on September 11, 2011.
The Cortlandt Street subway station is served by three subway lines at different times of day: the R train at all times except late nights (midnight to 6:30 a.m.), the W train on weekdays from 6:30 a.m. until about 10 p.m., and the N train during late nights. The station served an average of 15,000 customers per day when it was last open. It was originally opened on January 5, 1918, by the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company.
Here are a few quotes about the station reopening:
Congressman Jerrold Nadler said: “Today’s reopening of the Cortlandt Street Station is proof-positive that Lower Manhattan is healing and regenerating eight years after 9/11. This greatly improved R/W station is a clear indication that the MTA, City, State and federal government have pooled their resources to revitalize our city and reconnect – both literally and figuratively – New Yorkers to their Downtown. I’m pleased to have supported this project and commend Jay Walder and the MTA for finally making it a reality.”
New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said: “I am proud to join the MTA today for the announcement of the opening of the Cortlandt Street station. This station will spur Lower Manhattan’s evolution into a vibrant, 24-7 mixed-use community, and is an important step in the redevelopment and revitalization of our community.”
State Senator Daniel Squadron said: “Today’s reopening of the northbound RW platform at Cortlandt Street after four years marks an important milestone in rebuilding the downtown we want and need.”
Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer said: “Today’s reopening of the uptown platform of the Cortlandt Street subway station is another step toward repairing the damage inflicted by the September 11th terrorist attacks. Projects like the Dey Street passageway, which the Cortlandt Street subway station was closed to make way for, are making Lower Manhattan an even more attractive place to live and work, and will draw families and businesses in the process.”
Council Member Alan J. Gerson said: “It’s great news for all the downtown residents and workers. The reopening of the Cortlandt Street station marks a significant milestone for the recovery of Lower Manhattan. Now we need to make sure that the MTA and the Port Authority are working together to reopen the downtown station on schedule by the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11.”
Elizabeth H. Berger, president of the Downtown Alliance, said: “This has been a long time coming. While there are few neighborhoods in New York City better served by public transportation than Lower Manhattan, the district has been without service at Cortlandt Street for many years. Thanks to the MTA for getting the job done.”
Honestly, I am glad to see at least part of the station being reopened. However it does not change the fact that our city & other agencies & individuals involved have severely dropped the ball when it comes to rebuilding Lower Manhattan. It is inexcusable for that area to not have been redone more by now.