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New Bethesda Metro entrance, Silver Spring Transit Center face delays

January 19, 2011 - 06:00 AM
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Bethesda Metro
The Bethesda Metro Station will get a new entrance. Eventually. (Photo: TBD Staff)

We now have some updates on the construction time line for the Bethesda Metro Station's new entrance and the Silver Spring Transit Center.

Utility and permitting delays, as well as "extreme difficulty" [PDF] in constructing the foundation, has delayed the completion of the Silver Spring Transit Center from June to December 2011. So, you know, just brace for more overnight and daytime traffic and construction headaches.

It also seems that plans to build a second entrance to the Bethesda Metro station may be dependent upon the Purple Line's timing after all. The third-busiest station in the county has only one entrance, and initial plans to add a second didn't necessarily require that construction had to happen at the same time as work on building a Purple Line station in Bethesda. But if County Executive Isiah Leggett's capital budget recommendations get approved by the county council, the entrance won't be complete until fiscal 2016.

Leggett has proposed delaying several neighborhood projects for a year or two as the county is searching for ways to make up for some serious budget shortfalls, including pushing back Ride On bus purchases and Davis Library renovations.

The Bethesda Metro entrance would connect to the Red Line station and a future Purple Line station. According to Leggett's proposed capital budget plan [PDF], the project schedule "has been delayed as implementation plan is subject to the construction of the Purple Line." Planning should be complete by 2012 and then construction will take up to 24 months.

Keep in mind that the Purple Line hasn't received funding yet. But that hasn't stopped plenty of planning decisions being made to accommodate it. Plus, county officials have said that the Bethesda Metro Station was always destined to get a second entrance. Now it's just a matter of when.

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