Home Fulton Street Fulton St. hub stuck in MTA purgatory

Fulton St. hub stuck in MTA purgatory

by Benjamin Kabak

In some alternate universe New York City, this transit hub already exists.

Thirty days ago Back in May, the MTA had just told Community Board 1 that answers on the fate of the Fulton St. Transit Hub would be forthcoming in 30 days. Over 150 days later, we still haven’t heard a peep out of the transit agency concerning this oft-delayed transit hub.

At the end of last week, the news got worse. The MTA still has no idea what’s happening downtown. With the economy in free fall and money tight all around, Lower Manhattan may just be stuck with a giant blue fence at the corner of Fulton St. and Broadway for a long time.

Downtown Express’ Julie Shapiro has more for us:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority still does not know when the Fulton St. Transit Center will be complete or what the completed structure will look like, but Bill Wheeler, the agency’s planning director, promised City Councilmember Alan Gerson answers soon…

One redesign possibility for the station is a smaller above-ground structure with a flat skylight as opposed to the domed oculus featured in the original design.

The M.T.A. could see some automatic cost savings if the economy continues its downward spiral, since the overheated construction market may cool and the price of materials could drop, Wheeler said.

Work on the belowground portion of the station is moving forward, and Wheeler expects the construction on Dey St. to be complete in the next month. Reopening the Cortlandt St. R/W station, though, will take at least several more months, he said.

Well, at least they’re putting a silver lining on the dark rainclouds of our terrible economy. Too bad the MTA won’t have the money to pay the decreased construction costs.

Meanwhile, there’s a lot going on in this short article. We know that the MTA still has no idea what to do with the transit hub’s above-ground structure, and while they plan to award contracts for the rest of the work, that hub will remain unfinished for at least the next three or four years.

We also see that the Cortlandt St. station, once due to reopen over a year ago, will be closed well into 2009. Much like the plans for the World Trade Center site itself, this transit hub, once a vital part to the redevelopment of Lower Manhattah, has just been one giant piece of bad news, and this latest development is no exception. It will be a great day when that Hub is finally built, and the city can put this ugly episode in its past.

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Marc Shepherd October 13, 2008 - 9:11 am

The story isn’t all bad. The 2/3 platforms were renovated quite a while ago, the 4/5 platforms have new entrances at the corner of Maiden Lane and Broadway, and apparently the Dey Street passageway is nearly done.

One can sugar-coat it only so far. They leveled a city block’s worth of buildings along Broadway between Fulton & John, and whatever will replace it still seems to be years away. I am just pointing out that the project is not entirely without benefits, despite all that has gone wrong with it.

Katie Lee Joel’s Burger Sham - City Room Blog - NYTimes.com October 13, 2008 - 11:36 am

[…] hundred and fifty days later, we’re still waiting on the M.T.A.’s plans for the Fulton St. Transit Hub. [2nd Ave […]

eric October 13, 2008 - 12:34 pm

This entire project ABOVE ground was useless from the start. The underground work is a benefit for the public when finished but NOT the above ground work. That’s for the polititians only.

Kevin October 13, 2008 - 5:12 pm

Why don’t they just sell out the rights to build on the land to a private developer? They can erect a 15-20 story office tower and just have provisions to dedicate a portion of the lobby to act as a headhouse for the Fulton Street station. It doesn’t need to be grand nor does it need to be hidden away like Penn Station…it just needs to be functional and look halfway decent.

Alon Levy October 14, 2008 - 12:37 am

Much like the plans for the World Trade Center site itself, this transit hub, once a vital part to the redevelopment of Lower Manhattah

Development doesn’t equal leveling blocks and building huge things on them. If they wanted to make a Fulton Street Transit Center, they should have spent the money on extending the LIRR and/or NJT there.

tallboy October 20, 2008 - 3:53 pm

The current station plans require a big open space in the middle of the site to create the transfer hall between stations below grade. This will prevent any office building from bringing its elevator core and structure down to the foundation, and given the IRT and IND stations to the west and north, as well as the historic buildings on south and east, there is no easy way to support an office building on the site. All we’re going to get for this debacle is a one-story headhouse with a duane reade for retail.


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