It’s a construction project that affects almost anyone traveling through the southern end of downtown Silver Spring: a hulking mass of
concrete and steel rising beside the Metro station.
Drivers traveling along Colesville Road or East-West Highway navigate around the dump trucks and construction vehicles. Pedestrians walk through temporary sidewalks walled off from the construction zone. Riders on Metrorail and MARC train step onto the platform to the sound of rhythmic grinding and pounding.
So...what’s going on with the Silver Spring transit center ?
Eventually, the three-level project will unite the many Silver Spring transit modes that it temporarily hinders. It will connect the Metro and MARC stations for commuters who use both. There will be 34 bays for buses from multiple lines, 54 kiss & ride/taxi spaces and even a “multi-modal transit store.” The facility will be named for U.S. Senator Paul S. Sarbanes.
The project was originally scheduled to be completed in 2009, but its opening has now been pushed back seven times.
Recently, things have actually gotten worse. Montgomery County officials told the Post last month that the cost of the project had soared from about $75 milllion to over $100 million. Now they say they don’t know when it will be completed and have reportedly considered suing the builder, Foulger-Pratt, over concrete they say has been poured improperly and could be susceptible to damage with temperature changes.
That isn’t the only view, however. A Foulger-Pratt principal, Bryant F. Foulger, says there are no problems with the structure, and if you’re one of the passengers, drivers or pedestrians who frequently travels the area, cross your fingers that Foulger is right.
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