NYC re-opens WTC subway station, why did it take so long?

Three days short of the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks the “WTC Cortlandt” subway station is finally rebuilt and back in service. Story here.

I find this weird because in 17 years they have remediated the site, built 3 of the 5 skyscrapers, memorial and museum, and PATH transportation center. Why so long for the station? You would that with the site cleared and nothing but a giant hole they would start with foundations for the station and rough-in some connections to the planned buildings.

Also, MTA has never mentioned this rebuild as part of it’s capital projects. Who payed for it?

For a decade or more, the subway was visible as a square tube running don the middle of the WTC construction site. At first it was elevated, a few dozen feet above the floor of the underground construction. There would have been no point in opening the station as it would be in the middle of a construction site in mid-air. As I understand, at this point the surface entrance is right next to the memorial squares and the museum entrance.

Then, they were rebuilding the PATH train and building that stegosaurus skeleton of a transport hub. I assume the Cortland station was lower priority.

Perhaps it was considered unneeded with many nearby stations, but finally they decided to put it back in.

It was paid for out of federal 9/11 relief funds.

As for why it took so long,

A: It’s the MTA;
2: As md2000 says, everything around the site had to be rebuilt first, including the PATH station underneath it; and
Γ: It’s the MTA.