NEW YORK—Commuters and visitors traveling by subway in Lower Manhattan welcomed the new William Street entrance to the Fulton Street station that opened Monday.
As part of an ambitious project that now costs over a billion dollars and seeks to alleviate subway congestion in the area, the Fulton Transit Center construction reached a milestone with the opening.
More than 9 million visitors travel annually to Lower Manhattan to see landmarks such as the World Trade Center, Wall Street, and the New York Stock Exchange. There are also important hubs of business and government, like Chinatown and City Hall.
The entrance that opened is at 135 William St., and will provide better access to the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J, and Z lines, while augmenting pedestrian flow between the Fulton Street 2/3 and A/C stations.
Additional entrances at 150 William St., and 129 Fulton St., are set to open in 2012.
The Fulton Street-Broadway-Nassau subway station is an amalgamation of subway lines – A/C, J/M/Z, 2/3, and 4/5, that were constructed by three independent transportation companies near the beginning of the 20th century.
One of the goals of the project is to make the station easier to navigate by increasing the number of signs and the planned addition of 10 new staircases, 5 new elevators, and 2 new escalators. The final completion in 2014 will link 5 subway stations and 11 subway lines, and will include the restoration of the historic Corbin Building. There will be over 25,000 square feet of new retail space, and the entire complex will be upgraded to full Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.
A highlight of the project is a building that will be on the corner of Fulton Street and Broadway. The four-story, glass-walled structure will have a glass top that will channel sunlight into the new mezzanine for increased visibility. The tower crane for the structure has been installed, and steel erection has begun. An artist’s rendering of the finished building portrays it as a large open space with multiple levels consisting of dining, shops, and transit illuminated by natural light.
To help businesses that are dealing with decreased traffic due to construction in close proximity, there will be Open for Business signs coming soon to Broadway and Fulton Street, and information on the shopping district on the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) website.The project has been troubled since its inception. Businesses in the area were losing revenue, construction couldn’t continue because of budget overruns (which were countered by $424 million in federal stimulus funds), and there were multiple delays to the original schedule.
The next two scheduled updates are a new Fulton Street connection from A/C to 4/5 to be completed in August, and a Cortlandt Street R station southbound platform in September.