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Stair demolition at Milton MBTA station will begin today, despite outcry from local officials

The crumbling concrete staircase at Milton Station was blocked by a fence and concrete Jersey barrier in 2021.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/FILE

The demolition of a decaying staircase at an MBTA station in Milton will begin as planned on Monday, state officials said, despite pushback from town officials who would like to see the staircase repaired rather than removed.

Local officials have said the stairs leading from Adams Street to the Milton Station platform have been in disrepair for years and claim their requests for the stairs to be fixed went unheard. As the demolition date neared, the town sent a letter to Governor Maura Healey asking her to intervene and unsuccessfully petitioned a Superior Court judge to halt the demolition work.

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In a statement released Sunday by a spokesman for the MBTA, the Healey administration said that while it “appreciates the outreach from state and local officials” and has “carefully considered their concerns,” the demolition will begin Monday “as the staircase has been deemed unsafe and poses a risk to the public in its current state.”

Milton Station lies just across the Neponset River from Dorchester’s Lower Mills section and is part of the Mattapan Line, which is slated for an overhaul that includes “increased accessibility and safety improvements” at all six stations, but the work is a decade or more away, according to MBTA documents.

“Transportation Secretary and CEO Gina Fiandaca has directed the MBTA to urgently move forward with design work for the new Milton Station, including a fully ADA compliant path to travel in the area where this staircase is located,” the statement said. “In the interim, passengers can access the station from Wharf Street. We are committed to continued communication and collaboration with the community while these improvements are made.”

In their Feb. 17 letter to Healey, Milton’s select board accused the MBTA of “disparate and inequitable treatment” for delaying repairs to the staircase.

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“Since the stairs have been closed, the Town of Milton has requested MBTA action repeatedly, specifically to repair and reopen the staircase; however, our efforts have been ignored by the MBTA and has left the Town with a perpetually decrepit staircase in a station used frequently by Milton, Dorchester, and Mattapan residents,” the letter said.

The letter was signed by Select Board Chairman Arthur J. Doyle, who suggested the repairs would have been made sooner had the issue come up in a more affluent community.

“Such an injustice has not, and would not, occur in MBTA communities such as Newton or Wellesley, or Brookline, but Lower Mills, the doorstep to Dorchester and Mattapan, is left with no plan, no design, and no action for years and then decades,” the letter said.

The demolition is slated to begin Monday and be completed by the end of Friday.

Material from previous Globe stories was used in this report.


Nick Stoico can be reached at nick.stoico@globe.com.