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In Maryland, repairs may begin next week on the Silver Spring Transit Center.
When Montgomery County released a report in March that found excessive cracking in concrete and inadequate reinforcing steel among a litany of problems, the Silver Spring Transit Center, already two years behind schedule, seemed like a lost project. There was finger pointing. The lead contractor Foulger Pratt denied it was responsible for the concrete problems. Metro threatened to pull out.
But now County Executive Ike Leggett says repairs on faulty concrete slabs—known as pour strips—could begin as early as Monday. He says repairs might have started earlier, but he wanted to take his time getting the process right.
"Keep in mind it was the county that decided to bring the consultants in, it was the county that identified the flaws, it was the county that decided not to accept early remediation as it relates to this project," he says.
But just how long will repairs take on the long-delayed transit center?
"I am not giving a date on that because I want to make sure that we are clear about all those repairs and remediation and it passes all the various inspections and that I am satisfied it is safe and capable of being opened," he says.
The contractors have agreed for now to pay for the repairs, but Leggett concedes that when the work is done the contractors may go to court to get their money back. Still, repairs won't be held up over a battle over who pays.
"They had a contractual duty to in effect make the repairs. Now there may be some arguments after repairs are made, they made turn and submit claims saying we owe them additional monies," he says.
Foulger Pratt's chief executive was not available for comment.
By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.