Major flaws in concrete in Silver Spring transportation project

Officials say there are major flaws with the way the concrete was poured in the $101 million transit center in the heart of downtown Silver Spring. Construction of the three-tiered, urban, multi-modal, state of the art transit facility has now been delayed. (Courtesy Montgomery County Government)
Silver Spring Transit project delayed indefinitely

wtopstaff | November 14, 2014 3:40 am

Adam Tuss, wtop.com

ROCKVILLE, Md. – There are major flaws with the way the concrete was poured in the $101 million Transit Center in the heart of downtown Silver Spring.

During a news conference Monday, Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner outlined the issues, calling the situation a “serious problem.” He also hinted at the possibility of legal action against the contractor.

“Specifications for the project called for there to be 10 inches of concrete. The analysis that has been done has shown that for significant portions of the second floor and the third floor, there’s only eight and a half inches,” Berliner said.

The three-story transit center is supposed to support Metro and MARC trains, Metro and Ride-On buses, as well as other transportation modes. Construction on the project started in 2008.

Although Montgomery County leaders aren’t saying it directly, the belief is that legal action could be coming against the contractor for the project, Foulger-Pratt.

“I am a lawyer and I would say to you where there is a mistake, and a lot of money involved, that increases the chances of litigation exponentially,” Berliner said.

Foulger-Pratt used a sub-contractor to pour the concrete — La Plata based Facchina Construction.

The Silver Spring Transit Center has run into a number of delays since construction began. The transit hub is supposed to be an anchor for a mixed-use development including apartments, condominiums and a hotel.

“We are awaiting a proposal from the contractor with respect to remediation. Under the terms of the arrangement, the contractor has the right and the obligation to come forth with a remediation plan,” Berliner said.

He said the county will not be on the hook for the mistake, and that the contractor will have to make up the difference.

The expected completion date had been set for early summer. A completion date is now in doubt.

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