A NEW YORK CITY subway station has reopened for the first time since it was destroyed in the 9/11 terror attacks.
Cortlandt Street subway station was buried under the rubble of the two World Trade Center towers when they collapsed within 102 minutes of being struck by hijacked planes on September 11 2001.
While the WTC site was been rebuilt in the years following, including a $4 billion new transportation hub, progress on Cortlandt station had stalled.
But now, 17 years after the attacks which claimed 2,996 lives, travellers have been welcomed back to the newly-renamed WTC Cortlandt with the first trains rolling through on Sunday.
"WTC Cortlandt is more than a new subway station," said chairman of NYC's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Joe Lhota in a statement.
The new WTC Cortlandt station on the 1 line is now open to the public. It’s fully accessible, has fewer columns for easier customer flow, and is also air-tempered to keep you cooler on hot days. pic.twitter.com/A5DaiBb06w
— NYCT Subway (@NYCTSubway) September 8, 2018
"It is symbolic of New Yorkers' resolve in restoring and substantially improving the entire World Trade Center site."
The project began in 2015 after being delayed for years by lengthy works required to renovate the surrounding area of Lower Manhattan.
The new fully accessibly station, which cost just over $180 million, required an entirely new ceiling to be built and 365 metres (1,200 ft) of track to be replaced.
It now boasts state-of-the-art technology such as a new air ventilation system to keep the platform cool and fewer columns to help with passenger flow.
The station's walls are adorned with a white marble mosaic, 'Chorus', featuring quotes from the US Declaration of Independence and the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The artist behind the mosaic, Ann Hamilton, explained that it was aimed at encouraging people to be better to one another.
"I think when we see things that are beautiful, maybe our hearts fall open a little bit, and we are a little more generous," she said.