Gov. Baker: Construction Company Responsible For MBTA Weekend Troubles

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Gov. Charlie Baker doubled down Monday on criticism the MBTA lobbed at a HYM Investment Group, describing a deteriorated Government Center Garage column that led to days of commuting headaches as the construction company's responsibility.

On the day Orange and Green Line trains resumed running through downtown Boston, Baker praised the T for working over the weekend to assist HYM with repairs to the support column that had posed safety risks to subway tunnels.

"That beam belonged to the building dating back to the '60s when the building was originally constructed," Baker said. "HYM had two years to inspect and make decisions about how they were going to actually do the process associated with taking down that garage. I think the T did yeoman work working with HYM over the course of the weekend to make sure that beam -- which belongs to the building and belongs to HYM -- was shorn up and secured so there wouldn't be issues associated with the morning commute."

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MBTA officials and HYM offered competing accounts of the problem that prompted the T to take a section of its subway system offline late last week, with the transit agency blaming an ongoing demolition project at the garage and the company instead citing "years of water damage."

An HYM spokesperson did not directly respond to questions Monday about blame for the incident, instead offering a statement praising an "unprecedented level of teamwork and communication."

"In the moments since our initial discovery of the problematic subsurface column on Thursday, June 23rd, a group of women and men have been working 24 hours a day to create and implement a plan to ensure the safety of this area and all who pass through it," HYM said. "The scope of work included refortifying the identified water-damaged column with steel bracing, which was performed successfully."

Written by Chris Lisinski/SHNS

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