An additional $7.5 million for the construction budget of the Silver Spring Transit Center, currently set to open late this summer, received no testimony at a public hearing Tuesday by the Montgomery County Council.
The transit center, a hub for buses, taxis and Kiss and Ride cars next to the Silver Spring Metro and Marc stations, is almost three years behind schedule and $80 million over budget, according to the Washington Post, with the total cost nearing $112 million.
County Executive Isiah Leggett proposed the additional funds as an amendment to the 2013-2018 Capital Improvements Program to "cover site improvement, utilities and construction costs required to prevent further opening delays."
Councilmember Roger Berliner (D-Dist 1) noted that no one from the executive branch came to the public hearing to provide testimony on why the money is needed. He said the Council needs to have an "understanding of the nature" of the transit center delays, information he hopes to glean at a worksession for the amendment scheduled for March 11.
"The public is looking at this project and is looking at our county and our capacity to get things done and questioning whether we can get things done," Berliner said Tuesday. "And we need to understand why this is the way it is."
Montgomery County officials said improperly poured concrete resulted in a higher-than-desired number of cracks in the three-tiered structure, a problem which they said will need to be fixed before the center can open.
Foulger-Pratt, the contractor for the project, told Patch that the center is safe and ready to open, but county officials are holding the project back.