Home Fulton Street With money in place, Fulton Hub progressing apace

With money in place, Fulton Hub progressing apace

by Benjamin Kabak


Over the last three years, I’ve rarely had the opportunity to post good news about the Fulton St. Transit Center. Originally set to be completed two years ago but now planned for 2014, the massive Lower Manhattan project is now seven years and 100 percent over budget. Yet, earlier this year, when MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu promised an on-time completion date, I believed him.

Those comments from Horodniceanu came four months ago. Although there is still plenty of time for the project to yet again fall behind schedule, the latest dispatches from the MTA present us with a glimmer of hope. The MTA earlier this week told Community Board 1 that the Transit Center is still on time, and with stimulus funds supporting the project, it is in fact humming along quite nicely.

“We’re doing very well in terms of progress on the construction,” Uday Durg, the MTA’s project manager, said this week. “We have the funding for those projects and we’d like to use the current market conditions to get them built as quick as we can.”

Matt Dunning from The Tribeca Trib had more:

Often touted as the “Grand Central Station of Lower Manhattan,” the new Fulton Street Station will be partially funded by $424 million in federal stimulus money, a little less than 40 percent of the $1.1 billion grant that the agency was first promised from the federal government. A year prior, it was revealed that the original price tag of $755 million had almost doubled. Without the federal money, the station’s unique oculus design would have been scrapped.

Since the money was delivered in August, Durg said the agency was able to finalize several contracts earlier than expected, including deals for construction of a new mezzanine and elevators for the A/C and J/M/Z platforms, as well as new entrances to the station on Williams and Dey Streets. Those projects are expected to be complete between May 2011 and March 2013.

Crews will finish later this year pouring the foundation for the new station’s vaunted main concourse, which will encompass a balcony of retail stores and restaurants and topped with an angled, cone-shaped dome to allow natural light to reach even the lowest levels of the complex. The next part of the station to be returned to everyday service, Durg said, would be the northbound platform of the Cortlandt Street R/W station, closed in 2005 due to work on the adjacent World Trade Center site.

While the cost of this project is questionable considering its final utility — after all, does Lower Manhattan really need Grand Central without an airport connection? — this development is definitely good news for a delay-plagued project. Barring any unforeseen troubles, the MTA should be able to wrap up the Fulton St. Transit Center by 2014.

At some point, Jay Walder should tell us what exactly went wrong here. This hub should have been finished two years ago, and now we’re celebrating the news that it’s still on pace to open in four years. For now, though, we’ll just recognize that Horodniceanu is sticking to his word. If he can keep this up for a few more years, perhaps the MTA really can turn over a new capital construction leaf.

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AlexB October 8, 2009 - 2:15 am

When does the Cortlandt St stop on the R/W and the connecting passageway to the Fulton St 4/5 supposed to open up?

Benjamin Kabak October 8, 2009 - 8:47 am

Based on the docs I have, the northbound Cortlandt St. platform will open in December of this year and the southbound platform in September 2011. This project requires some coordination with Port Authority. I’m not quite sure what you mean by the connecting passageway to the Fulton St 4/5, but the Dey St. concourse is scheduled for Nov. 2012.

AdamG October 8, 2009 - 3:00 am

It would appear that Nov. 2012 is the target date. Check out page 18 of this presentation: http://www.lowermanhattan.info.....tation.pdf

although I’m not certain that the “R/W Underpass” is the connection you mean..

Scott E October 8, 2009 - 8:27 am

I suppose this is good news, but it’s troubling to see that stimulus money is going towards building the Transit Center that still has a dented Dixie cup dome on top. I would’ve hoped, as a condition of receiving these funds, that these costly “extras” which add little value would be removed.

Streetsblog New York City » Today’s Headlines October 8, 2009 - 9:08 am

[…] Fulton Street Center Reportedly on Track for 2014 Completion (2nd Ave Sagas)  […]

Kai October 8, 2009 - 10:15 am

after all, does Lower Manhattan really need Grand Central without an airport connection?

In all fairness, Grand Central doesn’t have one either. At least Fulton has the A-Train.

Jerrold October 8, 2009 - 11:27 am

Grand Central WILL have one.
When the East Side Access project is finished, it will be possible to take the LIRR from Grand Central to the Airtrain at Jamaica.

Affordable Housing Program Questioned - City Room Blog - NYTimes.com October 8, 2009 - 11:55 am

[…] Fulton Street Transit Center may be completed on time! [2nd Avenue […]

Alon Levy October 8, 2009 - 10:05 pm

An airport connection is overrated – AirTrain ridership is only about 4 million a year, a small fraction of total LIRR ridership. It’s more important to give Lower Manhattan general regional rail access, from as many directions as possible.

Think twice October 9, 2009 - 12:30 pm

Yes indeed. Proximity to GCT and Penn is one of the biggest selling points for Midtown office space.

Nathanael October 12, 2009 - 3:07 am

This is good news. The last important underground contract — the one which straightens out the mezzanines and renders the entire complex handicapped-acceissible, including all transfers — has been finalized? I think this project is into the homestretch.

Toni Lugo December 27, 2009 - 5:10 am

Okay, that are trying to make a big hub but they’re doig it in the wrong place. To make the most efficient transit hub new York is in need of they need the hub and the line; let’s start with the hub.

The hub will be under Washington Sqaure Park where subways 123456 ABCDEFLNQRWV are less than 1/2 a mile to the park. To be really accurate, like .2 miles. They are at the ” four corners” union sq, sw wash sq park and 14 ave and 6th. This would be the largest hub in the city. There is also a PATH station under 14th and 6th.

Now the line (H) for hub would focus on connecting the left over subways G 7 S and even the staten island railroad.

Going northbound it will stop at 23, 33 where it will link to the PATH terminal, 43 (42 and 5th stations on 7 line) 53 and 63 where it will follow the F to Roosevelt Island and then to the G’s Long Island City Terminal.

It will connect all NY subways including PATH, LIRR, and Metro North stations

Going south bound it will stop at canal street, park place, Fulton street, and south ferry, where it will travel through the Brooklyn battery tunnel making a stop at govenors island it will then continue in a straight line to the Atlantic avenue station where it will run sideby the R until the verrazano bridge where it will stop at grasmere

I sent a letter to the MTA about this idea I’ve hatched they might reply soon. Thank you for taking interest


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