By SANDRA ALMONTE
Subway riders had “mixed feelings” about the cost of Lower Manhattan’s newly opened transit hub on Tuesday, its first full day of operation.
The Fulton Center station’s $750 million price tag nearly doubled to $1.4 billion before the project was finished. As riders looked around at the complex’s spiraled stainless steel staircase and large projectors, a questioned surfaced: was it worth the money?
“I definitely think it’s a lot,” said Ryan Mannion. “There are better ways to spend that money.”
This complaint was echoed by other riders.
“I wouldn’t know what it takes to build something like this, but most things in New York are not necessary,” said Winston Loftoa. “It looks really expensive and flashy.”
Although another commuter, a Brooklyn resident who declined to give his name, admired the futuristic-looking center, he noted that train stations in outer boroughs have been neglected.
“It’s great,” he said. “Wish it can be done in Brooklyn, Queens.”
Fulton Center encompasses 180,000-square-feet serving up to 300,000 riders a day, uniting the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J, R, and Z subway lines. The space is covered in a glass and steel shell, with luminous interior panels leading to a 53-foot-diameter glass “oculus” over the main entrance.
“If it makes it easier to access all these trains, probably it is worth all that money,” said Michael Mery from Queens. “It’s more impressive than I thought it would be.”
Minimizing the impact of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy and the attacks on 9/11 was the greatest challenge for Senior Construction Inspector Jose Castro. After three-and-a-half-years of working on the project, Castro can finally say, “It looks good.”
When asked about the cost Castro said, “This was a project that needed to get done. Clean, shiny, safe, efficient. This should be the new downtown.”