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New analysis finds more problems with Silver Spring Transit Center

Wednesday - 4/30/2014, 4:00pm  ET

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The Silver Spring Transit Center is overdue and over budget, and it still has problems, a new report shows. (WTOP/Ari Ashe)

WASHINGTON -- The Silver Spring Transit Center is overdue and over budget, and a new independent analysis says that the cracks in the concrete at the center are more of a problem than originally thought.

Montgomery County officials had been told repeatedly that the cracks in the concrete at the troubled Silver Spring Transit Center were not a safety concern, but the latest analysis, by Norman Augustine, a former Lockheed Martin executive, says that without repairs, concrete could fail, putting people at risk.

The report was requested by County Executive Isiah "Ike" Leggett, who has taken a lot of criticism over the problems at the center.

County Council member Phil Andrews, a member of the committee overseeing the transit center, says the Augustine report isn't the first one to say that repairs need to be made "now, not some time later," before it's turned over to Metro.

He says that 240 buses an hour go through the transit center, and that puts "a lot of stress on the concrete."

"There's no way the county can go forward and let there be a risk of falling concrete," Andrews says.

Leggett administration officials have defended the overruns and delays, saying that projects such as the Arts Center at Strathmore had similar issues.

Andrews says Strathmore had delays and overruns, but it was a different case.

"There was no issue of safety with Strathmore; there was no issue of whether the building would actually work. ... No comparison."

Andrews and former county executive Doug Duncan are running against Leggett for the executive's job; the three candidates will face off at a debate Wednesday night.

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WTOP's Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.

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