Cortlandt Street Station Reopens Two Decades After Damage From 9/11 Attacks

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The Cortlandt Street Station was once one of Manhattan’s most heavily trafficked subway stops, given that it was right outside the World Trade Center and the bustling Manhattan streets surrounding it. It has been closed ever since the attacks that destroyed the twin towers and affected good portion of lower Manhattan. CBS News reports that two decades after its closure, the station is finally ready for reopening.

The Cortlandt Street Station is on the No. 1 Line, and has been empty for 17 years as the towers were rebuilt and new buildings added to the formerly damaged streets around it. It is located by the new One World Trade Center building. On the day of the September 11 attacks, the towers fell and tore through the station ceiling. After the attacks, the station was buried under all the debris, with a huge gaping hole to boot. The metal beams were bent almost double. The station needed major renovations before it could reopen.

All in all, 1,200 feet of track needed to be rebuilt, and the ceiling needed to be completely renovated. This sort of undertaking was not simple and required a good deal of time to complete and safety-test. Trains started running on the tracks on Saturday at noon Eastern Time. The station is now called WTC Cortlandt, and trains will now be running regularly.

The reopening is just days before the anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, which is coming up on Tuesday of next week.

“The station’s name references its location within the World Trade Center site as well as its legacy under Cortlandt Street, which existed above the station when the 1 line originally opened in July 1918 but was demolished during the construction of the World Trade Center in the late 1960s,” the MTA said in a statement.

The reconstruction work took several years and began in earnest in 2015. The delay was in part because the Port Authority of New Jersey and New York needed to complete repairs to surrounding areas before allowing access to the station for the MTA. The new station is completely accessible and even features air tempering systems to keep riders cool. A new piece of art highlights text from the Declaration of Independence and the United Nations Declaration of Universal Human Rights.

The train is going to link to 11 other subway lines and the PATH train, making the city commute just a little easier for New Yorkers.