Botched construction that Montgomery County officials say resulted in cracks and improper cover of reinforcing material will delay the opening of the Silver Spring Transit Center nearly three years from its original October 2010 completion date.
David Dise, head of the county’s general services department, told a Montgomery County Council committee he anticipates the center will open late summer 2013.
During an update to the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T&E) committee Thursday, he said that the center has several structural flaws that need to be fixed before it can open to bus, car and taxi traffic.
A “higher than expected occurrence of cracking” was observed in some of the structure’s concrete last September. Dise said cracking is normal, but the “extent of the cracking and the nature of the cracking” made the county hire an outside firm, KCE Engineering, to create a full study of the cracks and what should be done to fix them.
Most of the concrete also was poured too thinly or too thickly, Dise said, which impacts the capacity of the center to carry the weight of the vehicles. Only 37 percent of the concrete the county surveyed met with the normal construction standards, he said.
KCE’s report should be complete in November and, along with Foulger-Pratt, the general contractor for the project, the county will use the winter months to figure out how to correct the problems, Dise said.
The concrete will be fixed beginning next April and Dise said he hopes the center will be fully operational a few months later.
Despite denying it was at fault, Dise told the committee that Foulger-Pratt has been “very cooperative” in trying to locate and fix the problems. The company will be responsible for performing the corrective work and paying for it, too, Dise said.
Dise avoided talking about possible litigation against the contractor, but he did confirm that all parties’ “[legal] counsels are involved,” in the concrete conversations.
The Silver Spring Transit Center, which Project Management Chief Don Scheuerman said will cost $108 million, will create space for taxis, Kiss and Ride cars and a network of buses near the Silver Spring Metro and MARC stations.