Freedom Tower

First Phase of World Trade Center Transportation Hub to Open on March 3

The World Trade Center Transportation Hub Oculus – the centerpiece of the transit facility – will partially open at 3 p.m. on March 3, providing an enhanced commuter experience for PATH riders traveling to and from Wall Street and other New York City destinations, as well as those who live in and visit the downtown area.

This spring, the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners is planning an opening ceremony as the Oculus becomes fully operational, including the eastern linkages to the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Fulton Street Transit Center and the 11 New York City subway lines that the MTA facility serves.

The March 3 opening will provide the 100,000 riders that use the PATH facility daily with below-ground, climate-controlled access to a new entrance at the corner of Liberty and Church streets, a few blocks from Wall Street. In subsequent weeks, the eastern entrance to the Oculus will open, providing PATH riders with direct access to Church Street and to the Fulton Street Transit Center. In late spring, the new access from the Oculus to the corner of Vesey and Church streets will open.

The transportation hub and Oculus – designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava – will serve as a 21st century, state-of-the-art transit center and represents the most integrated network of underground pedestrian connections to mass transit lines in New York City.

“The World Trade Center PATH Hub was a challenging project for the agency in terms of timetable and costs, but the men and women of the Port Authority and the contractors who worked on this nationally important infrastructure project should be rightly proud of their efforts,’’ said Port Authority Chairman John Degnan. “We trust the Oculus will serve a vital transportation need for the region, while becoming an important landmark for the metropolitan area and nation in the decades to come.”

“Lower Manhattan soon will have an architecturally visionary 21st century rail station, combined with world-class retail shops, that will be a focal point for downtown commerce,’’ said Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler. “The board of commissioners salutes those whose years of toil finally brought this project to fruition.  They have created an iconic structure for generations of New Yorkers, commuters and visitors.”

Details on the spring ceremony will be provided in the coming weeks as progress continues toward completion of the Oculus and its full complement of access points.

The existing World Trade Center PATH Station entrance on Vesey Street will remain open until the public can use all three new access points into the Hub.  Access guaranteed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will remain at the existing PATH entrance on Vesey Street until all Oculus passageways are open.

The Hub also will provide below-ground access for PATH commuters heading to jobs in One World Trade Center, 3 World Trade Center, 4 World Trade Center and a future 2 World Trade Center.  Ultimately, the Hub will provide street-level access to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

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