WASHINGTON – (WMAL) The over budget and behind schedule Silver Spring Transit Center won’t be opening August 23, which was the target date set by Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
The latest problem was a request by WMATA’s Interim General Manager Jack Requa. He told Montgomery County leaders they would need to pay an extra $15 million dollars to cover repairs, among other requirements, before his agency would take control of the center. The $140 million center is already $50 million over budget.
After finding out about the new requirements last week, the county’s Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Timothy Firestine wrote in a July 27 letter to Requa, “I am troubled that at this late hour, WMATA appears to be holding transfer of the facility hostage until the County accedes to unreasonable demands.”
Montgomery county Executive Ike Leggett said after county and WMATA leaders met Wednesday, the last minute requirements were taken off the table, putting the project back on track.
“I think that hopefully we’ll come to a resolution soon as to the opening date of the facility and move on with that,” said Requa.
The next challenge is that WMATA’s board needs to approve the transfer of control of the facility from the county to WMATA. The board doesn’t meet again until September, so Leggett said unless that meeting could be moved up, September would be the earliest the transit center could open.
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