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The opening of the Silver Spring Transit Center has been delayed again. Late August is now the earliest the center may open. The newest delay could be the first of many, depending on the results of an analysis.
The development, which would feature access to both Metro and MARC trains as well as to Metrobus, Ride-On and several other bus operations, was supposed to open this past January. That was pushed back to the summer after it was discovered that concrete was improperly poured on the upper levels of the center.
David Dise, Director of the county's Department of General Services, would not say with certainty whether the county has the county is going to have a problem. He told the council the contractor working on the project, Foulger-Pratt, has prepared a plan to fix the problem.
"They have proposed [a plan] that we are reviewing within the next two to three weeks," said Dise. "We'll have consulting experts analysis of their data, and then we'll determine our next steps."
Dise says it's much too early to determine whether the concrete work will have to be re-done, but adds the possibility does exist. That would mean a lengthy delay in opening. He says it's also been slow work fixing cracks that are showing up in that concrete — cracks which he says normally occur when concrete settles, or cures, after it is poured.
"It's not going to fall down," emphasized Dise. "The concern is how long it is going to last. The durability and serviceability is the ultimate question, and that goes to the strength of the concrete."
Whenever it does open, the center will feature access to both Metro and MARC trains, several bus operations including Metrobus and Ride-On, as well as taxi stands and kiss-and-ride drop-offs.
Representatives from Foulger-Pratt were invited to the council hearing, but did not attend.