It's been a decade since train service returned to the World Trade Center transit hub, but commuters are still waiting for the grand station complex that was promised for the site, which is still under construction. But a significant feature of the project finally appears to be taking shape. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.
More than a decade in the making, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub is still more than two years from completion.
But at long last, the most striking feature of the nearly $4 billion complex is finally taking shape, giving New Yorkers a clear look at the wings of a station that's set to open much later than expected, and at almost twice the cost.
Underground, workers are going around the clock to create a showcase station with PATH train service and links to 11 subway lines, plus a connection to the MTA's nearby Fulton Transit Center.
"We're targeting 2015, but pushing as hard as we can to do even better," said Steven Plate, director of World Trade Center Construction.
It hasn't been an easy job for the Port Authority. It's had to scale back the station's original design while building around the construction of One World Trade Center and the September 11th Memorial, all while keeping PATH trains running at the makeshift station where service returned in 2003.
"That's been handling over 100,000 passengers a day while we build this structure around them," Plate said. "So it's truly been an engineering marvel to be able to accomplish that."
The agency's been criticized for cost overruns and construction delays. On Wednesday, reporters got a chance to see where all that money and all that work has been going.
When the main hall of the World Trade Center transportation hub opens, its wings will be made up of about 610 pieces of steel. To date, 120 pieces of steel have been used.
The wings of the structure will stretch about 250 feet in the air, extending over a hall drenched in sunlight and with two levels of stores.
Not that some PATH train riders will notice.
"The train is the train, and I'm walking in and out. I'm not really looking around or looking at my surroundings that much," said one rider. "I just want to go where I need to go."
"I wouldn't say that we need a $4 billion train station," said another. "I think it does its job, as it's been doing."
It's just going to get a whole lot fancier.