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County Officials: Silver Spring Transit Center to Open Summer 2013

Improperly poured concrete delays opening of the center, Montgomery County officials say.

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. 

Read more about the Silver Spring Transit Center

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. 

jag October 11, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Ugh, honestly, how did Foulger-Pratt find a subcontractor that's incapable of pouring even remotely close to spec. COMPLETE FAIL. At least they won't have to tear the whole thing down.
pcat October 11, 2012 at 08:16 PM
This project will never open. I anticipate spending next summer watching them tear it down completely!
Mary Clive October 12, 2012 at 11:59 AM
I truly hope they do tear it down completely and rebuild. I would never feel safe in a concrete building where "several structural flaws" have been patched over, especially since we now know we live in an earthquake zone.
Kim Cooke October 12, 2012 at 09:53 PM
I think you are so right.
Avocado October 15, 2012 at 07:19 PM
I just want them to open it! Open it ASAP so we can walk through it to exit the metro. Three years late is frustrating. Open it already please!!!

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