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More Problems With Silver Spring Transit Center

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The Silver Spring Transit Center, shown here in October of 2012, has languished due in large part to improperly-poured concrete.
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The Silver Spring Transit Center, shown here in October of 2012, has languished due in large part to improperly-poured concrete.

An independent report on the unopened Silver Spring Transit Center shows more problems with the facility than first thought.

The center was supposed to have opened two years ago, but has been plagued with construction errors and ensuing cost overruns. During that time, Montgomery County and Foulger-Pratt, the contractor that poured concrete slabs on the center's upper levels, found that those slabs were not poured correctly. That lead to concerns about the durability of the structure, and it remained unopened while an independent report was conducted.

A new report, which came in Tuesday, says the problems with the slabs go far beyond durability. It says those slabs are not strong enough to withstand the loads they will endure, and should be removed and replaced. That would keep the center closed even longer, as county officials were hoping to open it this fall.

In a statement, county executive Isiah Leggett says the center as currently constructed is "severely compromised", but he pledged to have the fixes recommended in the report done. But he gave no timetable as to when the center might now open.

Earlier this year Foulger-Pratt said the county has needlessly delayed the opening of the center as it awaited this report.

When it finally does open, the Silver Spring Transit Center will serve Metrorail and MARC trains as well as several bus lines like Metrobus and Ride-On.

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