The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says the long-delayed Fulton Street Transit Center is now solidly on track, and gave NY1 an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at some key completed steps. NY1's Transit reporter John Mancini filed the following report.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials gave NY1 an exclusive tour of the Fulton Street Transit Center, the massive project that has proceeded in fits and starts since it was first conceived after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
On Tuesday, the MTA marked what its engineers called an important milestone in the $1.4 billion project to link five subway stations to the new PATH station, the World Trade Center and the World Financial Center.
The agency's officials announced the completion of both the underpinning for the historic Corbin Building and the foundation of the main transit center building, and said the hub is right on track to open by June 2014.
"Certainly businesses in and around the area, the growing residential population, everything kind of converges at Fulton Street. So having a brand new transit center connecting 10 different train lines there is really important," said Downtown Alliance Senior Vice President Nicole LaRusso.
Designed to untangle confusing underground connections for 300,000 daily riders, it will be topped by a 120-feet-tall glass structure, allowing light to reach riders 40 feet below street level.
"You're able to see behind me, in effect, all of the buildings surrounding us, the church. When this building will be completed, you will experience the same thing, because everything around us will be glass," said MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu.
MTA officials say despite their ongoing budget crisis, these dark and painful days are the right time to build for the future.
"This is probably the first time in maybe 80 years that we are really engaged in such major projects. Quite frankly, although people think that they are not at the right time, actually they're at the perfect time," said Horodniceanu. "Because they provide employment for thousands and thousands of people at a time we can do it, at a lesser cost because there is more competition."
Also, more than 90 percent of the project’s funding is coming from Washington, D.C.