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WTC Concourse Reopens For First Time Since 9/11

Underground Passageway Links PATH Station With Brookfield Place

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A commuter concourse underneath the World Trade Center site that has been closed since the Sept. 11 attacks is open.

Photos: WTC Concourse Set To Reopen

The opening of the passageway marks a major milestone in the area’s redevelopment and an added convenience for tens of thousands of commuters. For 12 years, commuters have had to cross traffic along the busy West Side Highway or use a pedestrian bridge over West Street, that is being dismantled, to navigate the area, CBS 2′s Janelle Burrell reported.

The underground passageway links the PATH station entrance on West Broadway and Vesey Street with Brookfield Place, which will eventually include retail and dining.

The 8,000 square foot facility is complete with two lattice supports beams on either side and six escalators, giving the public access to the  tunnel.

The Brookfield Place glass-enclosed pavilion also opened on Thursday.

“Travelers will now be able to go from the Hudson River on the west to the Path system on the east all in a climate-controlled aesthetically-pleasing environment,” said Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye.

With cold weather on its way commuters told CBS 2′s Alice Gainer that they were looking forward to being protected from the elements.

“It’s gonna be great. With the winter definitely arriving or the fall arriving it will help,” Cheryl Witkowski said.

The renovation of the concourse is part of a nearly $4 billion redevelopment of the World Trade Center site that includes a new transportation hub scheduled to be completed by 2015.

The entire transportation hub will span 800,000 square feet and will eventually connect to the subway as well, CBS 2 reported.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)