photo of Silver Spring Transit Center

Silver Spring Transit Center is Hub for Jack Hammers and Hard-Hat Workers for Now

The much-maligned  Silver Spring Transit Center is a hub of activity but not with the planned buses and commuters, but rather with workers wielding hand-held jack hammers and epoxy guns trying to make the necessary repairs to get the building open.IMG_0548

Montgomery County Director of General Services David Dise along with K.C.E. Structural Engineers President and self-proclaimed boss of the fix Allyn E. Kilsheimer pointed out reinforcement efforts along girders and new strut beams meant to help prevent twisting and torsion of the beams already in place Tuesday. What neither man would point to is an end date for the massive repair job.

At best, Dise gave a nearly 16-month window of “sometime in 2015.” Kilsheimer talked about repairs and manual handovers to the eventual owner and operator of the transit hub WMATA that extended into late summer.

The transit center, to be dedicated when it eventually opens as the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit Center located of Colesville Road, is to be a transportation mecca with:

  • 32 bus bays for WMATA Metrobus, Montgomery County Ride-On, MTA regional commuter bus, Van-Go shuttle, Inter-city Buses, and University of Maryland Shuttle,
  • Direct access to Metrorail and MARC,
  • 54 Kiss & Ride spaces and taxi spaces,
  • Intelligent Transportation system,
  • Multi-modal transit store,
  • Accommodation for future Bi-County Transitway, connections to regional hiker/biker trails and a local trail, and open space replacement and enhancement.

The new facility will replace and significantly increase the capacity, safety and efficiency of a more than 30-year-old, aging, surface transit facility in the heart of the newly revitalized downtown Silver Spring, eliminate the existing traffic conflicts, increase pedestrian safety, facilitate multi-modal transfers and provide well-developed bicycle access into the mass transit site.

For now, however, Kilsheimer said he is hoping “everyone moves out of the way” so he can remediate the issues. That means workers using ultrasound and other technological devices continue to make chalk markings on the concrete handing off to the next crew the jobs of chipping away the concrete to expose girders that need reinforcement. In other places it means installing hundreds of new strut beams and pore strip remediation beams and later pouring two-inches of  latex modified concrete over the drive aisles.

Kilsheimer, whose company has done work like rebuilding the both the Pentagon and  World Trade Center after terrorists attacks, said the transit center job is difficult in a different way and he says he point most of the blame for the flaws on the designers of the building.  The design firm for the job was engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff. But, Kilsheimer was quick to point out there others who can also take blame for the center’s issues.

For now commuters will have to walk around the fenced-in hub that promises to one day make their commute faster. Dise said the entire site is a construction zone so he is unable to allow the public to cut through the grassy area around the building.

Still also undetermined is the final cost for the project once talked about in the tens of millions now topping $120 million and still growing with every chip and crack repair. Dise vows that taxpayers will be held harmless, but expects the courts will be the only ones to set that in stone.

 


  • photo of Silver Spring Transit Center
  • photo of Silver Spring Transit Center

 
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K.C.E. Structural Engineers President Allyn Kilsheimer talks about the fixes at the Silver Spring Transit Center in this MyMCMedia Extra. Here’s his take on WMATA’s concerns about the extensive repair work to the concrete at the center. And, Kilsheimer talks about what would have happened to the concrete prior to the fixes with a full […]

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Silver Spring Transit Center is Hub for Jack Hammers and Hard-Hat Workers for Now

photo of Silver Spring Transit Center

The much-maligned  Silver Spring Transit Center is a hub of activity but not with the planned buses and commuters, but rather with workers wielding hand-held jack hammers and epoxy guns trying to make the necessary repairs to get the building open. Montgomery County Director of General Services David Dise along with K.C.E. Structural Engineers President […]

Read more

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Krista Brick

About Krista Brick

Krista Brick is a multi-media journalist with Montgomery Community Media.

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