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Remembering and Rebuilding After 9-11


© United States Government Works

On the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the MTA is looking back at the heroic efforts of its first responders, and looking forward to the restoration and improvement of transportation infrastructure in Lower Manhattan.

More than 1,000 employees of MTA New York City Transit and MTA Bridges and Tunnels were first responders on 9/11, making MTA employees among the most numerous of any group of personnel to respond on the ground during 9/11. They saved lives as they moved thousands of people out of harm's way and guided them to safety, often in thick clouds of dust. Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel employees also cleared 287 vehicles that had been abandoned in the Tunnel. After the immediate aftermath, New York City Transit brought in special buses that brought rescue workers to the site, and Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, the "Gateway to Ground Zero," quickly became a critical path for hundreds of police and emergency vehicles racing toward the World Trade Center site.

That day nine years ago, New Yorkers pledged to rebuild. The MTA has been a vital part of the process. The MTA got to work immediately repairing the damage that resulted from the attacks and it continues to make progress throughout lower Manhattan.

After the attacks, the MTA immediately began repairing the tracks, structures and stations of the # 1, R and E lines that were most heavily damaged by the attacks.

The MTA has fully repaired the structure and tracks of the No. 1 line running through the World Trade Center site and is designing the new Cortlandt Street 1 station. The MTA has also made improvements to the World Trade Center E station by adding new ADA-compliant ramps. Work continues to fully rehabilitate the Cortlandt Street R station. The northbound platform opened last year and the MTA expects to be able to open the southbound platform in a year.

The biggest accomplishment to date is the newly constructed and significantly larger South Ferry Station roughly 10 blocks to the south. Now with multiple exits, seven escalators and two ADA compliant elevators, passengers will be able to easily access the street, and Battery Park, as well as neighboring office buildings and a new free walking transfer to the R subway line at Whitehall Street. The renovations expanded the platform to accommodate ten-car trains, which will improve operations and alleviate platform crowding. The new station also includes sufficient overrun track beyond the main platform to allow trains to safely enter at higher speeds.

The most significant project that will help revitalize the entire lower Manhattan area, the Fulton Street Transit Center, continues to take shape. Underpinning for the adjacent Corbin Building and the foundation for the Transit Center have been completed. Other components have also been completed and opened for customer use, including the rehabilitated 2/3 Fulton Street Station and new 4/5 Fulton Street Station southern entrances.

When fully completed in 2014, the Transit Center will connect five subway stations and ten subway lines, improving access for over 300,000 daily customers that pass through this major transit hub in lower Manhattan. The project will provide improved street level access and visibility, will create an underground link to the renovated historic Corbin Building, and will be home to over 25,000 square feet of retail space.

Other amenities at the new Fulton Street Transit Center will include:

  • The A/C Broadway/Nassau Street Station will have improved mezzanine and platform access resulting in better circulation and reduced overcrowding.
  • A new underground concourse built beneath Dey Street will connect the R line at Cortlandt Street and the 4/5 lines on Broadway with additional connections to the new PATH Hub, World Financial Center and ferry service.