Photo Courtesy of WMATA

Nearly five years late and with about $50 million in cost overruns, the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit Center opened in Silver Spring, Md., a Washington, D.C., suburb, on Sept. 20.

Operation of the three-level regional rail, bus and taxi hub “was off to a good start,” said one local media report on Sept. 21. But construction of the 259,000-sq-ft cast-in-place structure had been plagued by evidence of surface cracking and concrete spalling.

Project participants now are enmeshed in a legal battle, sparked by an Aug. 24 negligence suit filed by project owners Washington Metro and Montgomery County against its designer Parsons Brinckerhoff, builder Foulger-Pratt Contracting LLC and an inspection firm. It seeks $166 million in damages. PB and Foulger-Pratt declined comment on suit specifics but defended their companies’ work. The first suit conference is set for December.