Flanked by the usual array of politicians and authority officials, MTA Chairman and CEO Jay Walder cut the ribbon on the southbound platform of the R train stop at Cortlandt St. in Lower Manhattan this afternoon. By opening the station today, the MTA fulfilled a promise made to the Lower Manhattan community to restore service to the station prior to the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. As the southbound platform right now has no direct access to the street, straphangers must use the open par tof the Dey St. underpass to exit on the northern side, and the MTA will restore the southbound exit once construction aboveground is complete.
“We made a commitment to have this platform open before the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and today we are here to fulfill that commitment,” Walder said. “I’m so proud that the MTA is able to participate in another vital milestone in the revitalization of Lower Manhattan. Our employees were first responders on that tragic day; we worked tirelessly to bring the subway back just months after the attack and every day since we have been rebuilding and helping the city come back stronger than ever.”
For the past ten years, the Cortlandt Street BMT station has been amidst a construction zone. The station was badly damaged during the attacks, and station was shuttered until September 15, 2002. It remained opened until August 20, 2005 when work on the Dey Street Passageway forced its closure. Right now, the underpass linking the northbound and southbound platforms is open but bounded by a false wall. Once the Dey St. Passageway is fully complete, that wall will be removed.
The other Cortlandt St. station impacted by the September 11 attacks will remain closed for now. The 1 train hasn’t stopped at its Cortlandt St. in ten years, but due to ongoing Port Authority work at the World Trade Center site, that station will remain closed indefinitely.
Along the BMT, the northbound platform opened in November of 2009, and the MTA and Port Authority spent another $20 million to reopen the southbound platform. Included in the reopened station are a variety of murals by Margie Hughto entitled “Trade, Treasure and Travel.” The murals were added to the station in 1997 and were undamaged in the attacks. Many of them have been restored to Cortlandt St., and the remaining panels will appear in the Dey St. Passageway.
For more scenes from the opening, click through to view the slideshow.