An illuminating look at the vast mega-projects that will bring New York City’s underground infrastructure into the 21st Century and beyond.
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The Future Beneath Us

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The New York Transit Museum and the New York Public Library’s Science, Industry and Business Library present a historic exhibit illuminating the vast underground mega-projects that will bring New York City’s underground infrastructure into the 21st Century and beyond.

The exhibition, titled The Future Beneath Us: 8 Great Projects Under New York, will be shown in two locations in Midtown Manhattan:  the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store at Grand Central Terminal and the Science, Industry and Business Library’s striking Cullman Rotunda and Healy Hall on 34th Street and Madison. The exhibit runs from February 2009 through July 5, 2009.

The Projects …


East Side Access

Today MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is the country’s largest commuter railroad. Its increasing daily passenger load totals 270,000 travelers –230,000 using Penn Station. By bringing riders into Grand Central Terminal, the East Side Access Project will allow the LIRR to expand capacity to Manhattan and keep up with growing demand.

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Preview - East Side Access

Second Avenue Subway

Proposals to build a subway line along Second Avenue date back to 1929. Several detailed plans were contemplated in the following decades. Meanwhile, the number of people traveling on the east side of Manhattan has steadily grown, severely straining the capacity of the area’s streets, highways, buses, and subway lines. As the neighborhoods changed from industrial to corporate, and commercial, residential and high–rise buildings replaced tenements, the population density of the East side dramatically increased.

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Preview - Second Avenue Subway

The Fulton Transit Center

Lower Manhattan’s transportation network was antiquated and in need of repair and rethinking prior to being damaged on September 11th. In the aftermath, it was even more evident that much needed to be done. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) was founded to help plan and coordinate rebuilding and revitalizing downtown. Working closely with the MTA, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the City of New York and the New York State Department of Transportation, a plan to establish a 21st Century integrated system that would lay the foundation for the area’s future growth was defined.

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Preview - The Fulton Transit Center

7 Line Extension

The 7 line extension will provide a link between the Hudson Yards area in far west Midtown, north-south subway and commuter train lines in Manhattan, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and Queens. It will dramatically improve service to this underserved area encouraging commercial and residential development.

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Preview - 7 Line Extension

Croton Water Filtration Plant

When completed, the Croton Water Filtration Plant in the Bronx will provide up to 290 million gallons per day of filtered water (up to 30% of the City’s water needs) and will ensure that the Croton system remains a reliable, viable part of New York City’s vast water infrastructure.

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Preview - Croton Water Filtration Plant

City Water Tunnel No. 3

It is the largest and longest running capital project in New York City’s history and among the largest engineering projects in the world. When it is finished and all the construction shafts have been closed up, it will have completely disappeared from view, up to 800 feet below ground. The only evidence of its existence will be the assurance that when you and many subsequent generations need to bathe, cook, or fight a fire there will be plenty of water to do so. Its name may be prosaic—City Water Tunnel No. 3—but its function is essential to the life of New York.

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Preview - City Water Tunnel No. 3

Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel

Riders on New Jersey Transit trains to New York City take 46 million trips a year. That’s over four times the ridership of just twenty years ago, and vastly more than traveled a hundred years ago when the first tunnels under the Hudson River to the new Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan were opened. Those single-track tunnels—one for trains into New York, one for trains back to New Jersey—were marvels of their age. That age passed a long time ago, as today’s riders—elbow to elbow and traveling those same two tunnels—are reminded on every commute. The Trans-Hudson Express (THE) Tunnel Project will provide significant relief: two new tracks and other improvements to bring the New Jersey-New York train commute into the 21st century.

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Preview - Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel

World Trade Center Site

The original World Trade Center survives in visions of the iconic Twin Towers before, during, and after the destruction of September 11, 2001. The rebuilt World Trade Center will honor the past and transform how people live and work in Lower Manhattan in the 21st century. Central to many designs is the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. The devastation of 2001 reached to the sky and deep below ground, to the transportation systems that move hundreds of thousands of people to, from, and through the World Trade Center site. The Transportation Hub will unify and extend transit service with a design that is iconic itself. World class restaurants and shopping venues will provide convenience and excitement for the travelers.

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Preview - World Trade Center Site

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