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Taxpayers Won't Foot The Bill For Silver Spring Transit Center, Officials Say

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Structural problems at the Silver Spring Transit Center, shown here in October, go far beyond improperly poured concrete, as originally reported.
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Structural problems at the Silver Spring Transit Center, shown here in October, go far beyond improperly poured concrete, as originally reported.

Montgomery County executive Isiah Leggett is vowing that taxpayers will not be left on the hook for the problems delaying the completion of the Silver Spring Transit Center.

Leggett says if the contractor Foulger-Pratt, the subcontractors, and design firms fail to rectify construction problems at the $112 million transit hub, the county will cancel the contract and sue.

"We will pursue every legal and administrative remedy that we think is available, so that we make certain that the county taxpayers do not foot this bill for the additional costs that may have to be born as a result of remediation," Leggett says.

The county hired engineering consultants to investigate the transit center's structural problems. They issued a report Tuesday that found excessive cracking in concrete, missing cables, inadequate reinforcing steel, and concrete of insufficient strength and thickness. Leggett says these problems can be fixed.

"It's simply right now a question of how much and how long it will take to do those," Leggett says.

The transit center is already two years behind schedule.

In a statement, the contractor Foulger-Pratt says it will take time to review the county's report, and the statement says the county has refused to cooperate, "forcing taxpayers to pay for a $2 million report conducted without any input from us or our engineers."

Leggett says the contractors will pay for the repairs, not taxpayers.

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