Delays hit the Fulton Street Transit Center hard, as it was originally slated for completion in 2007, but now it's finally beginning to take shape and move along. NY1’s Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
About five years ago, the corner of Broadway and Fulton Street was occupied by shops and foot traffic. By 2009, the site had been cleared to make way for what is now finally taking shape: the Fulton Street Transit Center, a dream long delayed but now finally blossoming, yet another signal of rebirth Downtown.
“We want to be able to create a great public space that would be beyond just the point that people can change trains, but it will service a greater purpose,” said Michael Horodniceanu of MTA Capital Construction Co.
That purpose is servicing a new 24/7 Downtown community. The center will not only connect 11 different subway lines, but will have retail on some levels and an underground corridor leading west below Dey Street.
“The idea is really to be able to provide the connectivity between the PATH, the World Trade Center site and the rest,” said Horodniceanu.
The $1.4 billion project is funded largely with a post-9/11 federal grant of almost $850 million.
Just in time for this year’s 10th anniversary, officials plan to reopen the downtown platform of the Cortlandt Street stop on the R. A planned new entrance is also taking shape, and it’s set to open at the corner of Fulton and William Streets July 31.
On the main hall, structural steel will be in place by August, though the completed building won’t open until 2014.
One of the defining characteristics of the transit center is natural light. With glass exteriors, and a glass oculus overhead, sunlight filters two stories below street level.
In keeping with the times, all signage, including ads, will be electronic.
We will not have paper any longer,” said Horodniceanu. “When you see, for example, a sign sending you to, let’s say the A, C, 4, 5 and so forth, it will be in electronic fashion that will emulate the way the signs look today.”
Once slated to be complete in 2007, the hope is that this project, like so many others Downtown, will be worth the wait.