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Delayed Silver Spring Transit Center Report Expected Tuesday

An outside consulting firm's report on structural problems was delayed four months.

A much-anticipated report on what may be wrong with the Silver Spring Transit Center is expected to be presented at next week's Montgomery County Council meeting, Councilman Roger Berliner (D-Dist 1) told Patch. Originally due in January, the analysis from KCE Engineering, a third-party firm, was reportedly delayed when unexpected structural issues were unearthed. 

The $112 million transit center, a future hub for buses, taxis and Kiss and Ride cars next to the Silver Spring Metro and Marc stations, was scheduled to open late this summer after more than two years of delays. County officials alleged that the concrete was not poured properly, resulting in a "higher than expected occurrence of cracking" in the three-tier structure. A full study of the cracks by KCE was ordered last September. 

Read more about the Silver Spring Transit Center

"There are more issues unfortunately than just the thickness of the concrete. We are talking about pillars," Berliner, chairman of the council's committee on transportation, infrastructure, energy and environment (T&E), told NBC4 last week. "We are talking about a number of things that weren't done the way they should have been done in the first instance." 

Berliner said the council will meet in a closed session Tuesday, March 19 to discuss the report—and potential litigation against general contractor Foulger-Pratt. The same day, the full council will be briefed on the report in an open session, followed by a meeting of the T&E committee to discuss a request for $7.5 million to be added to the project's coffers. 

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."

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.

In an email to Patch, Jessica Trzyna, a spokesperson for the company, said, "Both Foulger-Pratt's engineers and the county's engineers have concluded the Silver Spring Transit Center is safe. Foulger-Pratt stands by their work—their 50-year history and reputation speaks for themselves." 

chapoutier March 13, 2013 at 03:01 PM
"Both Foulger-Pratt's engineers and the county's engineers have concluded the Silver Spring Transit Center is safe. Foulger-Pratt stands by their work—their 50-year history and reputation speaks for themselves." This is such disingenuous crap. The SSTC may be "safe" right now in the sense that it isn't in imminent danger of falling on our heads but that still doesn't mean FP and their subcontractors didn't screw up. This is supposed to be a 50 year structure. Does Ms. Trzyna and FP care to guarantee that this will still be safe 49 years from now? Until they do so, and put up a huge chunk in bonds to back it up, I don't want to hear a peep out of them.
Brittany Marie March 13, 2013 at 03:25 PM
Thanks for the info!
Wayne Phyillaier March 13, 2013 at 04:20 PM
@chapoutler - dead on: " Foulger-Pratt stands by their work—their 50-year history and reputation speaks for themselves." If Foulger-Pratt had not messed up and had built the transit center to the contract specifications they had agreed to, they would not have to use their "history and reputation" to explain away the effect of having the decks too thick someplaces and too thin elsewhere. The issue is not "is it safe", but rather "will it last?"

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