Home MTA Construction Building a staircase at Cortlandt St.

Building a staircase at Cortlandt St.

by Benjamin Kabak


Take the R or W north from Rector St. or south from City Hall, and as the train passes the midway point is slows to a crawl. Alert straphangers will glance out the windows and remember the Cortlandt St. station. Closed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the station reopened in 2002 after extensive repairs.

In 2005, as part of the Fulton St. Transit Center project, the station was again shuttered. The MTA had to build the Dey Street Passageway, connecting Cortlandt St. with the rest of the Fulton St. complex, and at the time, signs promised a spring 2006 reopening. As we know, that date was but a pipe dream, and the MTA kept pushing back the reopening of this Lower Manhattan station.

Now, half of it is truly finally reopening soon. As the above picture — courtesy of New York City Transit (and click on it to enlarge) — shows, workers are heading down the home stretch of work on the northbound platform, and in December, the northbound side only will reopen with a connection to the rest of Fulton St.

Passengers on southbound BMT trains will have to wait, though, until at least September 2011 for the southbound platform to reopen. Due to that platform’s proximity to Port Authority work, the MTA has to coordinate with the PA to firm up a schedule and projected opening date. Half an open station is better than one fully closed station.

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20tauri October 15, 2009 - 4:40 pm

Passing through yesterday was the first time (in years) where I felt like it looked like a real station. They actually put in the turnstiles and the fences. It’s been interesting watching the progress, especially over the past year.

Jerrold October 15, 2009 - 7:08 pm

Does that mean that the Dey St. passageway will also be finished and in use when the uptown platform opens in December?
I also wonder if that passageway will ever have a link to the DOWNTOWN platform.

Benjamin Kabak October 15, 2009 - 7:09 pm

It will have a link to the downtown platform, but, as I wrote, the downtown platform and connection to Dey St. won’t open until the MTA and Port Authority coordinate. It’s going to be a few years.

Henry Man November 21, 2009 - 11:59 pm

The Dey Street Passageway sub-grade infrastructure is substantially complete, however the above-grade infrastructure (including the headhouse) is waiting to be completed. It is anticipated that works on the headhouse will begin next year with an anticipated opening date of around Nov 2012. That translates as the entire passageway opening on that date.

If I recall correctly, the Dey Street Passageway will connect to a cross-under at the Cortlandt Street station. During the prolonged closure of the station, and repeated outages of the N/R/W lines in Lower Manhattan, a new level below the tracks was built. This will be apparent as there will be stairs linking to this level. The Dey Street Passageway should connect to a cross-under under the 4/5 lines under Broadway. This cross-under is expected to connect to the FSTC and should link directly to the Corbin Building.

MG October 15, 2009 - 8:09 pm

So funny you just posted on that station. I was riding by there this morning and wondering if that would ever open again.

rhywun October 15, 2009 - 8:36 pm

Wow, I haven’t been thru there in a few months. Can’t wait to check it out, as this would be my normal commute stop.

Jerrold October 15, 2009 - 8:59 pm

Somebody on Wikipedia says that the Dey St. passageway will be outside the fare zone. (I believe he phrased it differently, but that’s obviously what he meant.)
Is he right?
I remember when, after many years, the Transit Authority finally reconfigured the passageway between the Times Square and the Port Authority stations so that you don’t have to pay another fare to transfer there.
Are they now going to give us ANOTHER very busy passageway where we have to pay again, even though we did not leave the subway system?

Benjamin Kabak October 15, 2009 - 9:02 pm

Jerrold: When they Dey St. passageway opens, it will connect thr Broadway BMT with the rest of Fulton St. It won’t require another fare. Not so shocking but that Wikipedia statement just isn’t true.

Jerrold October 15, 2009 - 9:03 pm

I might as well give the link:


Note his phrase:
“out-of-system connection”.

Jerrold October 15, 2009 - 9:05 pm

Ben, it seems that your answer and my second posting “crossed each other”.

Nathanael October 17, 2009 - 7:57 pm

Actually I think this is going to be one of those “Metrocard connections”. You will have to swipe again but will not have to pay a fare again.

That is the impression I got.

Apparently there was some strange desire to allow the Dey Street Passageway to be used by people coming from PATH without entering the subway system…. not sure why….

Andrew October 19, 2009 - 7:29 pm

Nope. Those transfers are only instituted as mitigation for lost connections due to reroutes and the like. The two that are in place now were both implemented in 2001 when the F was rerouted from 53rd Street to 63rd Street.

Especially when they’re in commercial areas, MetroCard transfers lead to substantial revenue loss, as people can make short-term round trips on a single fare (probably inadvertently in most cases).

Henry Man November 22, 2009 - 12:09 am

Yes I did write that. I am the author of that particular article, I remember writing it 2 or 3 years ago. It was said then (and rather clearly) that it would be a OOS transfer. The rationale is (IMO), there will be an additional connection to the WTC station, which already hooks up with the 2 and 3 and the A and C. If there is going to be such a connection, why make this one free?

Benjamin Kabak October 15, 2009 - 9:23 pm

Actually, I think I was wrong. The Dey St. Passageway will connect the R/W with the A/C/E/2/3 at Chambers/WTC/Park Place but the connection to Fulton St. will not be free.

rhywun October 15, 2009 - 10:29 pm


Henry Man November 22, 2009 - 12:06 am

The Dey Street Passageway will connect the Cortlandt Street station with the FSTC complex as supposedly an out of system transfer. HOWEVER, the MTA will arrange things with the Port Authority to build a transfer between the Cortlandt Street Station and the WTC E station. This connection will happen much later and will open later than the Dey connection.

This information was derived from recent MTA board presentations to the local community.

AlexB October 15, 2009 - 11:36 pm

It’s exciting to see some progress being made.

The Dey St passage will connect the R/W to the current Fulton St complex (as discussed.) I think the connection between the R/W and the E at WTC is a separate project that requires much less work. The R/W platform begins just beyond where the E platform ends (in the vicinity of Fulton St, not Dey St.) Is this right?

I remember reading an interesting proposal a couple years ago that would have built the Dey St passageway under Fulton St instead, permanently closed the Cortlandt stop, terminated R/W trains at City Hall, constructed a transfer between Park Place 2/3 and R/W City Hall, connected the E tracks to the current R/W tracks, and extended the E along the current R route into Brooklyn in place of the R. This would have provided all the same connections as the current plan, provided better service to Queens and Brooklyn riders, saved the MTA the cost of maintaining a station, and there would have been no conflicts with the Port Authority/WTC work.

Streetsblog New York City » Today’s Headlines October 16, 2009 - 9:00 am

[…] Signs of Progress at Shuttered Cortlandt Street Subway Station (2nd Ave Sagas) […]

Cortlandt St. nearly ready :: Second Ave. Sagas | A New York City Subway Blog November 5, 2009 - 12:09 pm

[…] to MTA documents, the northbound platform itself will reopen in December, and the Dey St. connector should debut along with it. This morning, Matthew Denker sent me the […]


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