(New York, NY - WNYC) When the Twin Towers hit the ground on 9/11, large parts of the nearby Cortlandt Street subway station collapsed onto itself. Steel beams, concrete, conduit wires and assorted debris crashed down on the tracks, clogging and closing a key part of Downtown Manhattan's transportation system.
Ten years later, minus five days, the station has at last been fully renovated.
The NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority joined various New York elected officials to cut the ribbon on the R line's new downtown platform, which has been closed since 2005.
"We made a commitment to fully reopen the Cortlandt Street station in time for the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and we are here today to fulfill that commitment," said NY MTA chairman Jay Walder.
City Councilwoman Margaret Chin said ten years of near-constant construction at the site has served as an uneasy reminder of 9/11's long reach.
"It told us that the subway is not complete, we're still missing something," she said. "But now ten years later, we're finally going to open this station. And then when we take the R train, we're going to feel the sense of rebirth, that finally it's done."
The station was shuttered for a year after the attacks on September 11th. It operated under makeshift conditions from 2002 to 2005 before undergoing a series of partial closings that allowed for a thorough renovation and the addition of a new underground passageway.
This latest and final bout of work cost $20 million and was paid for by the New York and New Jersey Port Authority and the NY MTA's capital construction budget.
The renovation restored twelve large ceramic murals installed in 1997 and collectively titled, "Trade, Treasure and Travel." The murals, which contain real and mythical creatures mingled with dollar signs and other signifiers of the nearby Financial District, were not damaged in the attacks. But they sat in storage until the station was ready to show them off again.