PATH PATH Tube Station To Open Sunday
Joshua Robin Staff Writer November 22, 2003,
1:08 PM EST
won't be any signs alerting people to the
history of the train.
But the PATH train that will make its way
Sunday morning into the seared heart of lower
Manhattan played a pivotal role two years ago:
It was the last train to leave the World Trade
Center on Sept. 11, 2001, carrying to safety a
dozen fleeing people before the first tower
Sunday, the car will return to Ground Zero,
and with it inaugurate what state officials
call a significant milestone in the
rebuilding: the restoration of PATH service to
the World Trade Center.
"It's going to be a very emotional
event," said Gov. George Pataki, who will
ride the train with New Jersey Gov. James
McGreevey. Pataki said he had visited the
station earlier this week. "You can taste
and feel the air the way it was on Sept.
Some 67,000 riders boarded the PATH at the
World Trade Center every day before two
hijacked jets annihilated the Twin Towers.
Although that number might not soon return,
officials hope the restored service will
breathe life into the area as the trains
arrive at a newly completed station -- a $323
million temporary structure at the east side
of the World Trade Center.
"When the temporary World Trade Center
PATH Station opens on Nov. 23, it will become
the first public space to open within,"
Anthony R. Coscia
, Port Authority chairman, said in a prepared
The temporary station will connect to the E
subway line, but will lack amenities such as
heating that are expected at the $2 billion
permanent transit hub slated for completion
Sunday's event, expected to draw hundreds of
people, will coincide with the opening of
another important structure: a walkway across
West Street, to replace a bridge destroyed
Not everyone is pleased with the changes. Lee
Ielpi, who lost his firefighter son Jonathan
in the attacks, said officials are
backpedaling on a pledge to leave as intact as
possible the Twin Towers footprints.
Plans call for an additional track to be built
under both footprints, to handle trains
bypassed during the construction of the
It's not clear whether the Port Authority will
keep the track permanently, but Ielpi and
others are enraged at what they consider a
"It will severely, severely compromise
the South Tower," Ielpi said.
But officials say while they are building for
future crowds, they are balancing plans with
preserving the memories of those lost -- many
of whom were killed rescuing others.
"We had to make sure that we remembered
what happened there and also rebuild,"
Pataki said in an interview Friday. "As
we look with confidence to the future, we're
never going to forget."
Copyright © 2003, Newsday,