Legal Action Considered Over Delayed Silver Spring Transit Center

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Inspections of concrete on the Silver Spring Transit Center may have been conducted improperly. Transportation reporter Adam Tuss has been at the front of these developments and explains why some are threatening legal action due to the continued delays of the multimillion dollar transportation hub. (Published Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013)

    A new report found inspections of concrete on the multimillion-dollar transportation hub in Silver Spring, Md., may have been conducted improperly, and legal action is under consideration.

    As the finger-pointing continues about who is responsible for major design and construction flaws with the massive -- idle -- concrete transit center in the heart of downtown Silver Spring, the surrounding community shakes its head.

    "We have had negative reviews about it with the fence, the construction site," said Evan Russell, assistant general manager of 8407 kitchen bar, where a table comes with a view of the stagnant project.

    For a while, the ambiance at 8407 hasn’t been great.

    "For us, we are definitely frustrated because we are missing out on what we feel like could be a huge increase in business," Russell said.

    The $112 million transportation project, which is supposed to be a hub for buses, Metro and MARC riders, and taxis, is years behind schedule and almost three times the original price tag. Meanwhile, the buses, taxis and riders that are supposed to be using it crowd the nearby streets.

    The concern lies with the structural integrity of the building -- mainly flaking and cracking concrete.

    The county, developer, engineers and even Metro are all pointing the finger at one another for the flaws.

    Montgomery County is looking at its legal options.

    "Right now we're evaluating what our options are with respect to legal action,” Deputy County Attorney John Markovs said.

    Someone is going to have to take a financial hit and probably a hit to their reputation to get the structure open.

    “When you look at it we kind of have an issue of a perfect storm where three really good contractors have detailed errors and omissions," Markovs said.

    Metro is supposed to take over control of the building once it opens, and some question why the transit agency didn't stop design flaws with the building while it was being built.

    The idea that the building will have to be torn down is a misconception, Markovs said.