New York opens WTC Cortlandt subway station 17 years after 9/11 destroyed it


A New York City subway station has re-opened almost two decades after it was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

When the twin towers of the World Trade Center fell in 2001, Cortlandt Street station was buried under the rubble.

Its shell, tracks and tunnels were all destroyed.

For the past 17 years, the new World Trade Center has risen around it piece by piece, but the subway station has remained closed, missing from the city’s subway map and bypassed by the No 1 train.

396638 01: The Cortlandt Street subway stop on the N and R lines near Ground Zero remains closed October 30, 2001 in New York City. The N and R subway lines returned to weekday service yesterday for the first time since September 11th
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Cortlandt Street subway in October 2001, a month after the terrorist attacks

In 2015, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) was given control of the site and began planning to rebuild it.

But the project was complex, with the rest of the World Trade Center site having to be rebuilt before work could begin, according to reports.

Transport officials had to work with other authorities to determine where the new buildings would be before they could even plan the subway entrances.

Eventually they were able to complete some 1,200ft of tunnel, rebuild tracks and repair the station shell and other infrastructure.

The new station – 700ft long, 47ft wide and several floors below street level – was named WTC Cortlandt to reflect its connection to the World Trade Center.

The result, at a cost of $181m (£140m), was seen on Saturday by the city’s transport officials, politicians and excited commuters who cheered as the first train stopped by just after noon.

The New York Times described the new subway station as “sleek, bright and airy”, bearing “little resemblance to its old, dank self”.

MTA chairman Joseph Lhota said the reopening “represents a major milestone in the recovery and growth of downtown Manhattan”.

He added: “WTC Cortlandt is more than a new subway station – it is symbolic of New Yorkers’ resolve in restoring and substantially improving the entire World Trade Center site.”

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) opened the new WTC Cortlandt subway station on Saturday, September 8, 2018. Pic: MTA New York
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The new WTC Cortlandt subway station has opened 17 years after 9/11. Pic: MTA New York

Among the station’s new features is a marble mosaic by artist Ann Hamilton based on the Declaration of Independence.

Explaining the thought behind her work, Hamilton said in the New York Post: “I think when we see things that are beautiful, maybe our hearts fall open a little bit, and we are a little more generous.”



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