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DECODER | Joanna Weiss

Born of the Big Dig, project finally breaks ground

What’s taking shape under this on-ramp to the Zakim Bridge?

It was born of the Big Dig, so perhaps it’s no surprise that it has taken so long for the Lynch Family Skatepark to break ground. The Charles River Conservancy first announced the project in 2004, with seed money from skateboarder Tony Hawk and a sense that Boston’s skateboard underground, maligned and sometimes misunderstood, deserved a concrete paradise of its own.

The advocates had the perfect spot: 40,000 square feet beneath a Zakim Bridge on-ramp, where the noise is already deafening and the grass doesn’t grow. But momentum built slowly and time ticked on — and construction finally started late last month. This fall’s expected opening will owe itself to one tenacious advocacy group, a few big donors, a corporate sponsor (Vans), and a small but passionate constituency. It will prove that public works projects can yield unexpected spoils — and that a park doesn’t have to be green to be glorious.

Joanna Weiss can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @JoannaWeiss.


Correction: An earlier version incorrectly identified the on-ramp under which the Lynch Family Skatepark is being built. The site is under a Zakim Bridge on-ramp. Correction: An earlier version had an incorrect headline. The project, first announced in 2004, has broken ground.