Fixes at Silver Spring Transit Center will begin soon - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Fixes at Silver Spring Transit Center will begin soon

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SILVER SPRING, Md. -

County officials assured members of the Montgomery County Council on Tuesday that the troubled Silver Spring Transit Center can be made safe. Remediation work on the three-story bus building could begin within several weeks.

Earlier, county officials released an independent engineering analysis which concluded the nearly-finished structure is unsafe.

The report, written by KCE Structural Engineers, blamed three companies: the designer, the construction company and the firm hired to inspect the building. All three companies have denied that their work is deficient.

At an hour-long briefing, several councilmembers said their constituents have repeatedly asked: how could the $124 million project be nearly completed with several structural deficiencies?

David Dise, Montgomery County's Director of the Department of General Services, had only a partial answer: "One of the questions from the very beginning is how did we end up with a [concrete] slab of varying thickness -- generally (or in large part) not in compliance? How did that happen? We don't know how that happened. We know it did happen. We can tell specifically where it happened. But, who did what, or who didn't do what, that caused that to occur, we don't know yet."

Dise did have good news for the council: the construction company (Foulger-Pratt) and the design company (Parsons Brinkerhoff) have agreed to quickly begin remediation on the flawed building without demanding upfront cash, but as Councilmember George Leventhal (D -- at-large) pointed out: "They've reserved their rights to dispute their financial liability. But, in the meantime, there's cash flow that's going to be necessary. Who's bearing that burden?"

Dise replied the two companies would furnish the capital for the remediation work.

The firm hired for inspection expertise (the Balter Company) has not said whether it will participate in the remediation, which is expected to begin this summer.

When will the Silver Spring Transit Center open? At this point, county officials are unwilling to furnish a completion date.


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