The World Trade Center rail hub “Oculus” will officially open in Lower Manhattan on Thursday, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) announced late last week.
The opening will provide 100,000 riders that use the PATH rail facility daily with below-ground access to a new entrance on the corner of Liberty and Church streets, a few blocks from Wall Street.
The hub replaces the World Trade Center terminal that was destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York City. Although PATH trains have been using the new hub since May 2015, the facility has not been fully operational.
Over the next few weeks, the eastern entrance to the Oculus will open, providing PATH riders with direct access to Church Street and to the Fulton Street Transit Center. In late spring, the new access from the Oculus to the corner of Vesey and Church streets will open, PANYNJ officials said.
The hub’s centerpiece is a soaring wing-shaped steel structure designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava.
“Lower Manhattan soon will have an architecturally visionary 21st century rail station, combined with world-class retail shops, that will be a focal point for downtown commerce,” said PANYNJ Vice Chairman Scott Rechler in a press release.
The main transit hall is 365 feet, 90 feet longer than Grand Central Terminal’s main concourse.