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Fulton Street Transit Center

The Fulton Street Transit Center (FSTC), designed after September 11, 2001, was initially conceived to be a grand transit station in the heart of Lower Manhattan. Based on the recommendations of the MTA’s Lower Manhattan Access Study, the facility will connect 12 subway lines (the numbers 2, 3, 4 and 5 lines and the A, C, E, J, M, Z, R and W lines) and make room for 23,000 square feet of retail space within an above ground soaring glass dome. The facility will also facilitate an easy connection to the PATH at the World Trade Center site. Overall, the new transit center will help decongest other overcrowded stations in Lower Manhattan and make transfers between subway lines more direct and better accessible to those with disabilities. Many believe that improved transit services in Lower Manhattan will contribute to the economic recovery of the neighborhood.

Numerous parties are involved in the development and construction of the FSTC, including the MTA, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) and other City and State agencies. The project initially received $750 million of $20 billion that was pledged towards the recovery of Lower Manhattan by the federal government after September 11th. The cost for the project has soared since its inception, now about $1.4 billion, reflecting an increase in construction costs as well as increased costs to acquire the necessary real estate. The costs are nearly double from when they were first estimated.

While most of the improvements will take place underground, the signature piece of the FSTC is to be a large glass dome located at the corner of Fulton Street and Broadway. 145 businesses were displaced, some by eminent domain, as the MTA acquired numerous properties at street level to make this above-ground element happen. The hallmark of the design includes an oculus, a large cone-shaped skylight, which would guide light into the depths of the underground facility. In January of 2008, the MTA announced that it no longer had enough funding to complete the glass dome, irking many community groups and elected officials including the Alliance for Downtown New York and Manhattan’s Community Board 1. These groups urged the MTA to fulfill its promise to deliver a world class transit center to Lower Manhattan. They claim that the region needs the facility in order to remain economically competitive.

The MTA has gone back and forth on what design will be constructed. Several months after suggesting that they would not build the above-ground glass dome as slated for the FTSC, the MTA announced that they would indeed be building the new facility almost entirely as originally proposed - though perhaps without the oculus skylight (estimated to cost an additional $40 million according to the MTA). However, the newest MTA plans include the oculus feature. Also, the interior of the building has been reconfigured to allow for more commercial space, which the MTA will lease out. Construction is underway for the foundation and is expected to be complete by August 2010. After the foundation is complete, work on the outside structure will begin.

The MTA has made steady progress on many elements of the underground work. New south entrances to the 4 and 5 trains on Broadway are complete as is the rehabilitation of the 2 and 3 station on William Street. Structural work is complete for the connection to the R and W lines and the new Dey Street Passageway and should be open to passengers in 2012. As mentioned above, foundation work is underway for the new transit center building. Contracts for other elements of the project were awarded in August 2009.

$424 million in federal stimulus funds will be used to complete the FTSC by 2014. Much of the Center will open by 2012 while other elements continue to be constructed. The R and W northbound platform will open in December 2009. A new William Street entrance will be completed by May 2011, the 4 and 5 platforms will be renovated by July 2012, and the A and C area will be finished by March 2013.

Last Updated: June 14, 2010

This development is closely interlinked with:
World Trade Center Redevelopment
Lower Manhattan Development