34th Street (IRT Flushing Line)
Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at a ceremony in December 2013
|Address||34th Street & 11th Avenue (actual exits at Hudson Boulevard)
New York, NY 10001
|Locale||Hell's Kitchen, Hudson Yards, and Chelsea|
|Line||IRT Flushing Line|
|Platforms||1 island platform|
|Opened||February 24, 2015|
|Next north||Times Square: future|
|Next south||(Terminal): no regular service|
34th Street (also 34th Street – Hudson Yards, and in the past, 34th Street – Jacob Javits Convention Center) is a station in Manhattan's West Side, built as part of the 7 Subway Extension for the IRT Flushing Line of the New York City Subway, and is the future southern terminal for the 7 <7> trains. It has two tracks and one island platform with a large 3-block-long mezzanine, stretching between 33rd and 36th Streets, overhead. The station, originally part of the city's bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics, was supposed to first open in summer 2012.[note 1] When London was chosen for the Olympics, the opening date was pushed to December 2013. In 2011, the opening was postponed to June 2014, pending the completion of the escalators and elevators in the station. By February 2014, the opening date had been pushed back twice: first to late summer/early fall 2014, then to November 2014, due to multiple escalator and elevator failures. As of June 23, 2014[update], the station would open in February 2015, but August 2014 projections are still for the station to open in late 2014.
The new construction, part of the city's and the MTA's master plan for the Far West Side, will extend the IRT Flushing Line west from Times Square to 11th Avenue, then turn south to 34th Street. It was originally proposed as part of the failed attempt to build the West Side Stadium for the New York Jets and the city's bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Although the stadium plan was rejected by city and state planning agencies, the 7 subway extension plan received approval to move ahead, as New York political leaders would like to see the warehouse district west of Eighth Avenue and north of 34th Street redeveloped, and subway service would be an essential part of that effort. The extension, which sparked development in the Hudson Yards area, will also serve the newly expanded Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, just half a block away from the station entrances. It is a vital part of the Hudson Yards project and is expected to be used heavily by residents of that development once the station is opened.
The station was funded by the city, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and by taxpayers; it is the first city-funded subway station since the Jamaica – 179th Street station on the IND Queens Boulevard Line opened in 1950, and the first new unique station in the New York City Subway since the three stations on the IND 63rd Street Line opened in October 1989.[note 2]
The station is part of a one-station extension to the burgeoning Hudson Yards area, which was originally US$2.1 billion, but grew to US$2.4 billion. In October 2007, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) awarded a $1.145 billion contract to build 7,000 feet (2,100 m) of twin-tube tunnel to S3, a joint venture of J.F. Shea, Skanska USA Civil, and Schiavone. The contract was to build tunnel from the current 7 train terminus at Times Square westward underneath 41st Street to Eleventh Avenue, then down to 26th Street. Richard Dattner and Partners, Architects, designed the 34th Street station. After excavating the new terminal's shell and creating the first 1,000 feet (300 m) of tunnel using the drill-and-blast method, S3 placed two tunnel-boring machines (TBMs) in the ground to dig the remaining 6,000 feet (1,800 m); as it dug, each TBM placed precast concrete liner segments to create the tunnel interior.
In September 2007, it was announced that the new station would feature platform screen doors, which have not been installed in the station as of December 2013[update]. The station (along with the new South Ferry station on the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line and the three Phase 1 Second Avenue Subway stations on the Upper East Side) will include special air-cooling systems to reduce the temperature along platforms.
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's December 12, 2006, address to the New York League of Conservation Voters noted that in November 2006, the government began issuing bonds to fund the extension of the 7 subway to Eleventh Avenue and 34th Street. The $2 billion 7 train subway extension is being funded with New York City funds from municipal Tax Increment Financing (TIF) bond sales that are expected to be repaid with property tax revenues from future developments in areas served by the extension.
In June 2008, construction on the tunnels began along Eleventh Avenue in Manhattan. On December 21, 2009, the MTA said that a tunnel-boring machine broke through the 34th Street station cavern wall. Both tunnel-boring machines were scheduled to finish the required tunneling in the spring of 2010.
In April 2011, the MTA announced that the contract covering the tunnels, the station mezzanine and passenger platform was 85% complete, and that the systems contract, covering mechanical and electrical systems, electric power, lighting and train tracks would be awarded by July 2011. A second entrance to the station is planned. In May 2012, the MTA announced that the extension, now 65% complete, had received the installation of the first set of rails.
On August 21, 2013, the MTA announced that the 7 subway extension was 90% complete.
On December 20, 2013, Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg took a ceremonial ride on a train to the new terminal, celebrating a part of his legacy as Mayor, during a press tour of the uncompleted station.
In January 2012, the station was touted as under-budget and on schedule to open in 2013, before a series of delays plagued the project. The station, originally part of the city's bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics, was supposed to first open as part of a two-station subway extension, including Tenth Avenue station, in summer 2012. When London was chosen for the Olympics, the opening date was pushed to December 2013; the Tenth Avenue station was dropped from construction plans soon after. However, in June 2012, the station's opening was delayed to June 2014 for completion of the station's fitting-out.
Then, the opening was delayed again to September 2014 to install the inclined elevator, as it had originally failed a factory test in Como Province, Italy. Officials had insisted that the Italian-manufactured elevator have software and parts made from a variety of different companies in America, rather than from a single foreign company. Michael Horodniceanu, chief of MTA Construction Company, told the New York Times that complications in the installation of the inclined elevator would likely cause a further delay of about three months, bringing the opening date to very late summer or early fall of 2014, or to November 2014. As of March 2014[update], the station's tentative opening date was still November 2014.
However, the station was not delayed solely because of the elevators. The station's opening was also pushed to later dates due to “integrated testing for fire protection", which required the completion of all station infrastructure, including escalators, stairs, and elevators. Escalators and tunnel ventilation systems also caused the station to be delayed.
The station was expected to open for service in late 2014,[note 1] but due to further elevator delays as well as problems with the extension's ventilation systems, it will be complete in February 2015. However, the MTA still predicts an opening date as early as December 2014, even with accelerated work, although the station is only 95% completed; Curbed, too, predicts an opening date of late 2014. The new opening date is only four months before 10 Hudson Yards, the first Hudson Yards building, opens in July 2015. However, the secondary station entrance at 35th Street, as well as finishing touches within the station itself, is not expected to be complete until December 2015. By June 2012, trains were still expected to run "for test purposes" by the end of 2013; the test trains did not run, but on December 20, 2013, Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg rode a train to take a press tour of the new station, on the first-ever passenger train to serve the station, and as of June 1, 2014[update], the only passenger train to go to 34th Street. By October 2014, the project was so far delayed that the MTA was offered US$4.75 million in "incentive" money if the station opened by February 24, 2015. Software changes were made to solve the elevators’ problems, and the elevators were installed. Testing will be complete by November. Three ventilation systems were already installed by October 1, 2014, with two more systems to be installed by the end of the month.
|B1||Upper Mezzanine||Escalators, incline elevator, and stairs to lower mezzanine|
|Escalators, elevator, and stairs to Exits/Entrances
(Inclined elevator in main exit (Site J), on north side of 33rd Street east of 11th Avenue next to Hudson Park and Boulevard. Note: Station not in service; elevator under construction)
|B2||Lower Mezzanine||Fare control, station agent, MetroCard vending machines|
|Staircases and elevators to platforms|
|Track 1||No regular service
(future) toward Flushing – Main Street (Times Square) →
|Island platform, not in service|
|Track 2||No regular service
(future) toward Flushing – Main Street (Times Square) →
The station has a single wide island platform serving two tracks, as well as multiple staircases between the lower mezzanine and the platform. The platform itself is 35 feet (11 m) wide, much wider than many other island platforms in the subway system; by comparison, the Chambers Street station in Lower Manhattan has platforms that are 18.5 feet (5.6 m) wide.
The walls adjacent to the tracks have white tiles arranged in sets of three columns of 3 tiles each. There are two-tile-high gray squares containing white "34" 's in the middle of each set of columns. They are pre-fabricated porcelain panels, in three-by-five slabs, to allow easy replacement.
The layout of the station is such that due to the station's extreme depth at over 80 feet (24 m),[note 3] there is an upper mezzanine and a lower mezzanine. A fare mezzanine will be located under the basements of Hudson Yards buildings, and escalators and an incline elevator will lead to a mezzanine down to the tracks. The Empire Connection and North River Tunnels are both above the station. Above the lower mezzanine is a curved, oval-shaped ceiling indentation that will help to cover the ventilation tubes in the station ceiling, and will also act as a skylight. The curved, cavernous ceiling of the lower mezzanine will help the station be energy-efficient via the use of "indirect lighting".
Entrances and exits
The station has two entrances and exits:
- Site J (Main Station Entrance / Ventilation Building) – escalators and elevator on the west side of Hudson Boulevard between 33rd and 34th Streets
- Site P (Secondary Station Entrance) – escalators on the SW corner of Hudson Park and Boulevard and 35th Street; to open December 2015
The main entrance, located east of the intersection of 34th Street and 11th Avenue at Hudson Boulevard, will have a turtle shell-shaped glass canopy—based on a design by architect Toshiko Mori—above it that will allow light to shine on the upper mezzanine; The elevator is located east of the northeast corner of 11th Avenue and 33rd Street, while the escalator entrance is located between 33rd and 34th Streets, in the middle of the block within the future Hudson Park in the boulevard. The ventilation building will be built over by developers at a future date. Both entrances will feature the glass canopy design, the first of their kind in the subway system. They are intended to stand out aesthetically. The entrances are interweaved with the Hudson Yards developments, with the main entrance wedged between 50 Hudson Yards to the east and 55 Hudson Yards to the west. The rest of the Hudson Yards development is located very close to the south of the station. There was provisionally an entrance inside the 3 Hudson Boulevard building, near where the secondary station building will be. However, since 3 Hudson Boulevard has not been built as of June 2014[update], and as both entrances will use a glass canopy cover independent of any Hudson Yards structures, the 3 Hudson Boulevard entrance will be shelved in lieu of a subway entrance directly to the east of 3 Hudson Boulevard. At both of the exits, the staircases and four escalators each go down 40 feet (12 m) to a fare control area, then another 80 feet (24 m) to the common lower mezzanine; the main entrance was completed by summer 2014, while the secondary entrance is still under construction.
The station is more than 10 stories deep, placing the station among one of the system's deepest—so deep, in fact, that the North River Tunnels and the planned Gateway Project tunnels pass over it by approximately 35 feet (11 m). The station, which is 108 feet (33 m) below street level in total, is the third deepest subway station in the entire system, behind 190th Street and 191st Street stations; as a result, four escalators will also be installed at the station. In addition, passenger access to the station will include a pair of custom-made incline elevators. In April 2014, the first of two 172-foot-long (52 m) incline elevators was installed in the station. The 80-foot (24 m) high incline elevators, which move at 100 feet (30 m) per minute (making an entire trip between the mezzanine levels in less than two minutes) and are sloped at a 27-degree angle, will be the first of their kind in the system. Each elevator will eventually hold up to 15 standing passengers or five wheelchair passengers. The elevators were inclined, since they were less expensive than vertically-traveling elevators; they are being installed within the large escalator shaft at 34th Street. However, as the incline elevators had originally failed a factory test by its manufacturer Maspero Elevatori, there were multiple delays in opening the station, and the opening date was eventually delayed from December 2013 to late 2014.
The tracks of this station continue south of the station, down to 26th Street, to allow trains to be stored south of the station during peak hours; the tail tracks are seven blocks long since the extension will add 66 more cars to the train fleet of the 7 service. There are also two diamond crossovers, one north and one south of the station. The storage tracks at this location are being constructed because the Corona Yard in Queens does not have any space to hold any more trains, and expanding the yard is very difficult due to its location next to the Flushing River. A new storage yard elsewhere would be prohibitively expensive, as they would cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
The station is projected to serve 27,000 passengers per day, or about 9.855 million passengers per year, when it first opens. After the Hudson Yards is complete, ridership will grow very heavily, with an average of 35,000 people per hour using the station at its peak by 2020. Projections predict that during the morning rush hour alone, 26,000 passengers will be leaving the station, while 15,000 will be simultaneously entering the station. This will make it the busiest subway station in New York City that is not a transfer station. The station, however, is built to handle an even higher capacity of 40,000 passengers per hour during peak times and events at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
The high projected ridership is despite the fact that it was once described as a station on an "extension to nowhere", given the relative sparseness of the area in 2007.
In September 2007, it was announced that the new station would feature platform screen doors, However, plans for screen doors in New York City Subway stations were dropped in 2012, and as of December 21, 2013[update], the station has not had platform screen doors installed.[note 4]
It will include special air-cooling systems, like those at the Grand Central – 42nd Street station, the temporarily closed 2009 South Ferry station, and the future Second Avenue Subway stations on the Upper East Side; the systems will reduce the temperature along platforms. The installation of air-cooling systems mean that the station, as well as the Second Avenue Subway stations and South Ferry, will have ventilation towers instead of the sidewalk grates seen in most New York City subway stations.
Three mosaics by Xenobia Bailey, which total approximately 2,788 square feet (259.0 m2), will be located in three locations within the station. One of the artworks will be located in an oval-shaped recession in the ceiling at the 34th Street entrance.
Materials used in the station are expected to last at least 100 years; include granite tile, ceramic tile, stainless steel panels, and mesh; and are supposed to conform to New York City Transit criteria, including slip-resistance.
The station is compliant with National Fire Protection Association standards, despite its extreme depth, as it can be evacuated in six minutes in case of fire, and the platform can be cleared within four minutes.
The subway extension to 34th Street spurred development in the Hudson Yards area by providing transit access for future tenants of the Hudson Yards development, and by keeping up with the MTA's goal to "ensure that all new residential and commercial growth in the MTA region between 2008 and 2030 is concentrated within a half-mile of an MTA station". Described by the MTA as the centerpiece of the Hudson Park and Boulevard, it is also the centerpiece of the Hudson Yards project, which developers say could not have been started without the 7 subway extension. The completion of the High Line and the Hudson Boulevard, as well as the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center renovation, are bolstering development in the area as well.
The warehouse district west of Eighth Avenue and north of 34th Street was rezoned in 2005 into a commercial and residential area, and the station is part of an effort to accelerate development in the area.
Since the station started construction, land prices in the surrounding area have nearly doubled. Interest in the surrounding area has also grown, as many development companies are going to Hudson Yards to buy air rights; for instance Related Companies, already the developer of Hudson Yards, entered a contract to buy a $75 million-plus parcel of land between 35th and 36th Streets and between Eleventh Avenue and Hudson Boulevard, as well as land over a McDonald's to build 50 Hudson Yards. Also as a result of the subway extension, three tenants have already been found for 10 Hudson Yards, and Citigroup is considering moving to the area. Most importantly, however, the $750 million platform supporting much of Hudson Yards was built starting in January 2013; subway construction for a station that could potentially carry up to 27,000 daily passengers necessitated the construction of more buildings, as 70% of tenants are expected to come to Hudson Yards via the 7 subway extension.
- The tentative opening date was alternatively given as November 2014, fall or winter 2014, fall 2014, or simply "2014". An incentive has been provided for the station to open on February 24, 2015.
- The new South Ferry station platform opened in March 2009, but is not an entirely new station; in fact, it connects to an existing station, Whitehall Street.
- The depth is so that there is minimal disruption to the structures above the station, such as the Lincoln Tunnel.
- In pictures released on December 21, 2013, platform screen doors are not present within the station.
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- hudsonyardsnewyork.com—Hudson Yards Location
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- nycsubway.org—Rapid Transit Station Design (1920)
- Picture of tiles on Flickr
- Depiction of station layout on Flickr
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- Track map for the Gateway Project
- Hudson Yards rendering
- The Deepest and Highest Subway Stations in NYC: 191st St, 190th Street, Smith & 9th
- Mayor Bloomberg, MTA Officials, and local leaders take first ride on 7 Subway Train Extension
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- Larry Penner (December 26, 2013). "What’s Missing From the No. 7 Line Extension". New York Observer. Retrieved May 9, 2014. "Remember that the existing Flushing, Queens, subway yard is already operating at capacity. This facility, built adjacent to wetlands, has little opportunity for expansion."
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MTA YouTube video clips:
- 7 Subway Extension - 12/14/2009 Update (2:32)
- 7 Subway Extension - 7/15/2010 Update (3:13)
- 7 Subway Extension - 5/4/2011 Update (2:59)
- 7 Subway Extension - 11/16/2011 Update (2:27)
- 7 Subway Extension - 5/10/2012 Update (2:53)
- 7 Subway Extension – 12/21/2013 Inaugural Ride (9:30)
MTA official website:
- 7 Subway Extension Update - Official MTA 7 Subway Extension Project Page (updated November 2008 and October 2009)
- New Milestone for No. 7 Subway Extension Project - MTA.info Website (June 11, 2010)
- Work on Extending the No. 7 Line Continues to Progress - MTA.info Website (April 4, 2011)
- 7 Line Extension is 90% Complete - MTA.info Website (August 21, 2013)
- Station entrance from this article on curbed.com
- Station entrance, nearly complete from this article on Engadget
- Station under construction from Google Maps Street View
- Station entrance under construction from Google Maps Street View
- 7 Extension Progress June 14, 2011 (29 photos) – MTA's Facebook Website
- 7 Extension Update – January 26, 2012 (27 photos) – MTA's Facebook Website
- 7 Extension Update – June 2013 (40 photos) – MTA's Flickr Website
- 7 Extension Inaugural Ride December 21, 2013 - MTA's Flickr Website