Action Committee for Transit holds press conference at Metro -- Gazette.Net


One year ago, Silver Spring resident Tina Slater remembered first hearing about problems in the concrete of the Silver Spring Transit Center.

Today, Slater, president for the grassroots organization Action Committee for Transit, and other ACT members are still waiting for answers about when the center’s issues will be corrected.

“We’re holding this press conference here today as a way to expressing the commuters’ frustration with the long and continued delays in getting the Silver Spring Transit Center up and running,” Slater said Wednesday, the one year anniversary of when the public was informed of setbacks in the project after cracks were found in the concrete structure.

The transit center — a $110 million transportation project on the corner of Wayne Avenue and Colesville Road in downtown Silver Spring — began in 2008 and was supposed to be completed in two years. A series of cracks in the middle and upper levels of the structure and disparities in the thickness of the concrete have delayed its opening by more than two years.

David Dise, director for Montgomery County’s Department of General Services, told The Gazette last month that the remediation report will be due from Ellicott City-based KCE Engineering Services, within “the next few weeks.” The remediation report will detail the safest solutions to repair the cracks and variety in concrete thicknesses, and Dise said he anticipates the transit center to be built for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority by fall.

The transit center, located next to the Silver Spring Metro stop, will bring MARC Train service, Ride On and intercity buses to one place in the downtown Silver Spring area, creating a large transit hub.

Slater said Wednesday that she hopes Dise and representatives from the contractor will hold a public forum to explain the details of the remediation report and the project’s timeline, complete with a question and answer session. She also hopes ACT is able to pass out leaflets informing commuters about the meeting so they are able to learn more about the future of their commute.

Silver Spring resident Dan Reed, 24, said he was 9 years old when the transit center was first proposed. On Wednesday with a framed photo of himself at that age in hand, Reed said he is “anxious” to find out when his commute and the commute of others will improve.

“This is an important part of the revitalization of downtown Silver Spring, an important part of our transportation network,” Reed said. “We just want to know when it is going to happen so we can further the revitalization of Silver Spring.”