And while the tripartite spurs have generated widespread repair, rehabilitation, and new construction throughout at least four of New York’s five boroughs, four of the high-cost, high-profile subway projects predictably can be found in the high-cost, high-profile borough, Manhattan.
di Domenico + Partners
Dual downtown projects
The $1.4 billion Fulton Center’s opening streamlines customer access to and from nine (soon to be 11) subway lines. And the debut of the related Dey Street Passageway, which also opened last November and is often ignored by the media, will offer pedestrians underground access to and from the nearby PATH World Trade Center station—in effect giving New Yorkers weather-sheltered access halfway across Manhattan’s downtown, from the Hudson River to past Broadway, and including numerous skyscrapers old and new in the process. That opening, so far deemed successful (Railway Age staff uses the station fairly often), also allowed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to reset its “completed checklist” at one, after flooding by SuperStorm Sandy essentially erased MTA’s $530 million completion in 2009 of the nearby new and improved South Ferry Station, offering improved underground connectivity among three subway lines and improved access to Staten Island Ferry service (also overseen by MTA). MTA will try again to establish the undone station, this time using various technologies to harden the station (and others) against flooding, in an attempt to reopen the upgraded site by 2018. South Ferry Station is the most vulnerable of at least 10 flood prone subway stations, most in Brooklyn and Queens, being addressed by architectural firm di Domenico + Partners; the firm’s newest effort will include “all concourse, mezzanine, and platform levels, employee facilities and backof-house spaces, as well as mechanical and electrical rooms throughout the station complex,” a company spokeswoman says. “For flood protection and resiliency, the assessment focused on street level entrances, ventilation structure, hatches, manholes and critical spaces throughout the station complex. Both assessments resulted in reports documenting the conditions and recommendations for recovery, rehabilitation, and mitigation required for a Category Two hurricane.” The assessments resulted in “alternative designs that
Do-over: South Ferry Station, inundated by SuperStorm Sandy, will receive infrastructure to repel a repeat incident.
balanced costly permanent flood mitigation with more economical components that could be deployed prior to a storm event (photos, above). These measures, while responding to current and future needs, were also an opportunity to form three new prominent (and water-proof) pavilion entrances, now under construction,” the spokeswoman says. Subway expansion as TOD prod
Seemingly a world away, five miles or so up the Hudson River in Midtown Manhattan, system expansion competes with rehabilitation far more aggressively, as two subway extension projects move forward fitfully: The No. 7 line addition reaching toward Manhattan’s “far” West Side; and the Second Avenue Subway, decades delayed but now a real thing with an optimistic December 2016 opening date for Phase 1, and a Phase 2 add-on north to 125th Street being openly discussed. Ardently backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, first as a means to attract the Olympic Games and then as a transit-oriented-development (TOD) tool, the roughly 1.5-mile, $2.4 billion No. 7 extension failed to meet a December 2013 target opening, set to occur before Bloomberg’s departure from office. A debut sometime in 2015 remains in flux. Even so, the extension already has succeeded in its role as a TOD agent, as Hudson Yards construction gains speed and is significantly transforming Manhattan’s West 30s. Relative to New York City population standards, “There’s no one there” right now, MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu quipped in an interview with Railway Age, making the project “classic TOD. We’re creating the transit link.” Manhattan real estate interests in various media, often adding words like “transformative,” echo Horodniceanu’s belief in the TOD aspect. Whenever it opens, the No. 7 extension will be equipped with Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC), as will much of the existing line from Times Square to Flushing, Queens, courtesy of Thales Transportation, becoming the second MTA New York City Transit subway line to be so fortified after NYCT’s L (Canarsie) Line (details, p. 27). February 2015 Railway Age 35