County meets with WMATA on Silver Spring Transit Center -- Gazette.Net


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Montgomery County officials met with Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority officials Monday afternoon to discuss the future of the Silver Spring Transit Center.

Patrick Lacefield, a spokesman for the county, said Timothy L. Firestine, the county’s chief administrative officer, and David Dise, director of the county’s Department of General Services, met in a closed session with two WMATA officials: General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles and Deputy General Manager A. Robert Troup.

They discussed how to move forward with remediation.

“I think it went well,” Lacefield said. “WMATA is going to be participating in the work team meetings to move forward on the remediation.”

Lacefield said WMATA officials were present at the remediation team meeting May 9 and plan to attend the meeting Thursday.

Monday’s meeting with WMATA comes on the heels of a letter sent April 12 stating that the transit agency would not accept the center, which has been beset by concrete problems.

WMATA, which operates Metro and related transit services, worked with the county on the $120 million transit hub. The agency would own, operate and maintain the center, assuming the county produces a facility with a life expectancy of 50 years, according to their memorandum of understanding.

County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) was not at Monday’s meeting but told The Gazette earlier this month that the remediation plan designed by KCE Structural Engineers ensures the facility will last for 50 years.

The transit center at the corner of Colesville Road and Wayne Avenue in downtown Silver Spring was slated to open in 2011, but a series of cracks found in the structure and disparities in the thickness of the concrete have delayed the project’s opening by nearly two years so far. It is unclear when the center will be open for business.

Lacefield said no timeline has been set with the project yet, but WMATA will work with the county and its contractors to get the remediations complete at the center. Simultaneously, the county will work with WMATA to determine who will own and maintain the facility, to ensure “things are moving forward as they should,” he said.

A WMATA spokeswoman did not have an immediate comment Monday.

krose@gazette.net