MTA Unveils Vision for $750M NYC Transit Center Complex

Wed June 30, 2004 - Northeast Edition

Designs to create an emblematic gateway to lower Manhattan and New York’s subway system were unveiled by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York. The designs by a team led by Arup, show plans to create a new transit center at street and subsurface levels on Broadway and also to Fulton Street Station.

The $750-million Transit Center Complex stretches from the E and R/W lines at its western extremity (connection to the PATH Terminal), through underground connections to the current Fulton-Broadway-Nassau station of the 4/5 and A/C stations, also connecting the J/M/Z and 2/3 lines to the complex.

The below-ground improvements include the creation of new special environments and relationships to facilitate transfers and wayfinding in, out of, and through the system. The complex, which is designed to be completely accessible, includes significantly upgraded entrances. The design will bring the facility up to American Disability Act (ADA) compliance, a much needed and planned improvement to the existing system.

The central entrance, a new engineered structure along Broadway between Fulton and John streets, will provide Lower Manhattan commuters, residents, and visitors with an identifiable improvement to the transportation system and urban environment. The facility is designed to allow significant light and improved access to the subway system. This is accomplished through extensive use of glass, natural and artificial light elements.

The centerpiece of the system has an oculus that extends high enough above the street level to direct sunlight into the lowest level of the complex — two levels below grade.

David Palmer, project director of Arup, said, “The designs for the new transit center will enhance both the transit system and urban life for Lower Manhattan, bring 21st century amenities and preserve the heritage at the site; the FSTC complex as a whole will play a major part in making Downtown one of the most accessible business districts in the world and one of the best places to work, visit and live in New York City.

As one of the busiest underground interchanges in New York City, the Center’s six interlinked stations now serve nine subway lines. The design reworks the existing system into one streamlined Transit Center serving 12 subway lines for more than 100 million annual riders, providing access to and from the core of Lower Manhattan. The nine subway stations were originally planned as parts of the competing IRT, BMT and IND subway systems and were built between 1905 and 1933.

Because of their competitive history, the seven stations offer only limited interconnectivity, not withstanding modifications over the years and in the fare of significant demand for passenger transfers. MTA now owns all of the system and has had plans to improve the connectivity and experience for passengers using the various stations.

The new transit center will provide better street level and access, which will improve circulation and reduce overcrowding conditions. A new 350-ft. long underground concourse beneath Dey Street between Broadway and Church Street and links the subway stations and central entrance facility East of Broadway to the new PATH Terminal and 1/9 Station at the World Trade Center site.

As well as creating a new structure the designs reveal plans to respect the historic heritage of the federally historically-listed Corbin building (built in 1888), which will be part of the new development. Plans include a new-engineered structure station entrance at Fulton Street and Broadway.

The Arup design team is working on a fast-track schedule for delivery of the design. Arup was awarded the design contract at the beginning of August 2003, completing the concept design in just less than two months, and substantially advancing the preliminary engineering by April 2004, with plans to conclude the preliminary design effort in the middle of this year. Final design is being tailored to fit with a planned sequence of letting packages of construction work. The construction work is being phased to tie-in with MTA/NYCT’s subway train schedules to minimize the impact to passengers, the local community and the public. The first construction contracts are proposed to be awarded before the end of 2004. Completion for the Center is aimed for the end of 2007.

Arup is lead consultant for the project, providing overall planning and project management, engineering and risk advice to MTA/NYCT. Arup has formed an integrated team with key team members providing the full multidisciplinary array of expertise required to provide MTA/NYCT with a complete design, including: Grimshaw (architects), Lee Harris Pomeroy Architects, Daniel Frankfurt Engineers and Architects, GZA, Systra Engineering and Vollmer Associates.

For more information, call 212/229-2669.