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Report: Problems with Silver Spring Transit Center may have been known years ago

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SILVER SPRING, Md. (WJLA) - With cranes inside and construction still ongoing, the Silver Spring Transit Center is far from ready for use.

The project has been plagued with problems for years and, according to a new report, many of those problems may have been known about as early as 2010.

The forensic report, which was released on Tuesday, found that 14 of 22 project controls used during construction were either “weak” or ineffective.” Among them is the transit center’s concrete, which contains 36-percent more water than originally documented.

Such a mix, the report adds, will lessen “compressive strength.” In other words, it is one big problem.

The report also states that “by late 2010, design, construction, and inspection personnel were aware that proper concrete thickness was not always being achieved, yet effective corrective measures were not taken.”

According to new analysis by the Inspector General, the project began back in 2009 - and by 2010, visible evidence of structural issues and concerns about durability had emerged.

Among the problems - cracks in concrete slabs, beams and girders, and incorrectly installed reinforcing bars.

In a statement to our news partners at WTOP, David Dise, the director of the Montgomery County Department of General Services said, in part, "While this added oversight is useful, by itself this measure would not have detected or prevented the major flaws in this project any sooner than the County's and WMATA's own efforts."

Arkeno Greenaway uses the Silver Spring stop every weekday.

"I don't really understand the point - it's a bus depot, but the buses drop off [pointing elsewhere]," Greenaway pointed out. "It's not worth spending that much money on."

And even more money is needed.

County officials said earlier this month that the project needs another $11 million to complete. The new target date for the transit center to open is January of 2015.

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