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WTC PATH construction fuels frustrations

The path to work is an increasingly frustrating one.

In recent months, exasperated commuters have been forced to tackle foot traffic bottlenecks throughout the World Trade Center PATH station caused by construction there.

“It’s like sheep getting ready to be sheered,” said Leslie Abreo, 55, a Manhattan office worker, as he existed the station yesterday.

Last November, the Port Authority cut back on access to some staircases and shortened a platform to accommodate the construction of the World Trade Center transportation hub, agency spokesman Steve Coleman said. He could not say when the stairways would reopen.

The station is the most popular PATH stop in the city, and its roughly 47,000 daily commuters must now wait in long lines during rush hour to shuffle up the stairways once they leave the train.

“I feel corralled,” said Joseph Kuroly, 38, who commutes from New Jersey to lower Manhattan daily. “When the train discharges, there’s not nearly as much room as there used to be.”

The crowding continues on the mezzanine level and onto narrow Vesey Street, where a wall of commuters are forced to push past tourists taking photos of the site.

Coleman said that despite the hassle, the re-routing has not posed a danger to passengers and meets the federal fire safety codes.

“We continue to look for ways to make it easier for passengers to enter and leave the station given the constraints we have,” Coleman said.

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