A Lynn, Massachusetts, business owner is going head to head with the MBTA and their fight has ended up in court.
Cisco Meneses, the owner of roughly 20 storefronts on Mount Vernon Street, claims the deteriorating Mount Vernon Street Bridge is the reason why he can’t open any of his businesses. The businesses are located directly under the bridge for the commuter rail in Lynn.
Meneses said city inspectors told him over the summer that his properties were not safe.
"They told me it’s dangerous to be there and I said yeah, but the bricks that are falling on me belong to the MBTA," Meneses said.
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Meneses pointed to water damage, mold and rotting beams that he said are the result of years of deferred maintenance by the MBTA.
"They’ve examined this bridge so many times and they’ve never fixed it," Meneses said.
But the MBTA said Meneses is the one who did not give them access to fix it. The agency took him to court last week and a judge ruled he has to let them in.
In the complaint, the agency also said it has suffered damages as a result of construction Meneses did to the viaduct they own.
Meneses said he has never stopped them from coming in, but he is glad a judge is getting involved if it means something will be done.
"We’ve always given them access. The next step is to give this to a judge and hold the MBTA accountable. Fix what you’ve inspected already four times," Meneses said.
A spokesperson for the MBTA said now that a judge has granted their motion to permit access on an emergency basis, structural engineers will perform a thorough assessment of the viaduct to help determine the level of repair work that will be necessary.