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I-Team: Mass. Officials Worried About ‘Catastrophic Failure’ Of Dedham Complex Elevator

By WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve
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DEDHAM (CBS) – At a luxury apartment building with plenty to offer, including a beautiful common area, a 24-hour fitness center and swimming pool, residents are having to take the stairs.

Elevators in two of the three buildings at the Jefferson at Dedham Station Apartments complex stopped working almost two months ago.

The management company wants to restart the elevators, but the state says not so fast. And residents are not happy.

Due to several knee surgeries, resident Hillel Korin has trouble walking, and now the elevators in his apartment building have failed.

“Going up and down the stairs has just put enormous strain on my knees,” said resident Hillel Korin. “It is a killer… a killer.”

Hillel now has to hobble up a steep set of stairs to get to his apartment.

“There are people in worse shape than I am,” he said, “wheelchairs and walkers that have to get helped up the stairs, down the stairs.”

On its web site, the Jefferson says it provides “the lifestyle you desire” located just a few feet from the popular Legacy Place.

But elevators in two of the three buildings had to be shut down in April after cracks were discovered in the concrete walls.

One resident was trying to move out on Tuesday.

“It’s hard.. (without the elevators)…”

Sources tell WBZ-TV’s I-Team that the elevators have been repaired, and that they have been ready to go for a week now.

However, the same source says they are waiting on state inspectors.

“Repairs have been completed to the specifications of our engineers,” the property manager told residents last week. “We are working with an attorney, the Town of Dedham and Otis Elevator to present our case for approval… to the state.”

But the state does not see it that way.

“This is not an inspection delay issue… State inspectors are worried about a catastrophic failure,” A spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety said. “State inspectors would like a different type of elevator installed.”

The apartment management company will present its case to a special state appeals board next week. In the meantime residents are on their own.

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