The opening of the Silver Spring Transit Center has been delayed until the summer, more than a year after the facility was originally expected to begin operating, after a construction error left the structure's reinforcement steel exposed to the elements.

The Paul S. Sarbanes Silver Spring Transit Center will be a three-story facility that promises to offer easy access to Metrorail, Metrobuses, MARC trains, Ride On buses, intercity buses, shuttles, taxis, kiss-and-ride, a hiking and biking trail, and -- in the future -- the Purple Line, according to county documents.

The $101 million project has been dogged by delays throughout construction, forcing officials to postpone the opening, which was initially scheduled for last summer and has since been set for November 2011, Jan. 7, and now "early to mid summer" 2012, said David Dise, director of Montgomery County's Department of General Services.

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  • The construction probably will be completed by April, and a 60-day inspection process will put the opening into the summer, but past delays have taught Dise not to commit to a specific month, he said.

    He partially attributed the most recent delay to an error that resulted in the concrete not being thick enough around the structure's steel reinforcement bars in eight areas of the facility's upper deck, which construction crews realized when the concrete began flaking off over the last several months. The concrete is supposed to protect the steel from bad weather, Dise said.

    Because the mistake was by contractor Foulger-Pratt, the company will pay to fix it, said Dise, though the parties have not determined how it will be fixed.

    Foulger-Pratt directed questions to the Department of General Services.

    Other factors contributing to the delays -- the realignment of Colesville Road, ongoing installation of the ventilation system and relocation of Pepco's duct bank -- have increased the project's cost by about $3 million, Dise said.