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Repairs finally to begin on Sarbanes Center

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Published on: Thursday, July 18, 2013

By Holden Wilen

SILVER SPRING – Completion of the Paul S. Sarbanes Silver Spring Transit Center took a step toward reality Wednesday as workers got the go ahead to complete repairs.

David Dise, director of the Montgomery County Department of General Services, said the county issued permits and a notice to proceed to general contractor Foulger-Pratt on Monday. The company is now coordinating with its subcontractors and has workers on-site setting up equipment, he said.

Foulger-Pratt will release a formal schedule for completion on the repairs to the pour strips later this week, Dise said.

A cooperative remediation working group consisting of 39 representatives from the county, the contractors and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority continues to meet every Thursday, Dise said. The group is currently working on a final design solution for the overlay of the middle and top levels of the facility, which Dise said should be finalized within the next couple weeks.

“There are some tests or investigations still underway that have to be completed,” Dise said. “The main one is the ground-penetrating radar that we are now utilizing to determine precisely where the overlay for the existing mid and top levels of the transit station needs to be placed and at what thicknesses based upon how close the reinforcing bar is to the finished surface of the current slabs.”

Rodrigo Bitar, an assistant general manager for WMATA, said at a June 18 county council session that the agency remains committed to the project but wants tests to be performed so remediation plans could be based on the results of the tests.

With the exception of the ground-penetrating radar tests being performed for the overlay, Dise said all other testing for concrete strength is all but complete.

“Metro was also asking for some additional tests that are really being questioned by the work group to if they are necessary,” Dise said. “Our expert consultant is working with Metro to discuss those tests. We are proceeding in accordance with [County Executive Ike Leggett’s] mandate to get this remediation underway and on schedule so that we can open this transit center as soon as possible.”

The county originally delayed the opening of the $112 million transit center when its consultant, KCE Structural Engineers, identified widespread cracking in the slabs, beams and girders on the second and third floors of the building back in March.

Dise will present his latest update to the county council at its July 23 meeting.

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