Cambridge skatepark nearing final design review


By Erin Baldassari, Wicked Local Cambridge

Already some 11 years in the making, the skatepark planned for underneath the Zakim Bridge will have to wait a little longer.

Although construction was slated to begin in the spring and be completed in the fall, shovels have yet to hit the dirt on the 40,000 square-foot park, according to Renata von Tscharner, president and founder of the Charles River Conservancy.

“The project is coming along well and is going through a final design review by the relevant agencies and stakeholder groups,” von Tscharner said. “The construction documents for the bidders should be finalized within the next month or so.”

von Tscharner said they were receiving the final design documents this week, which will then be reviewed by the Department of Recreation and Conservation (DCR), which owns the land. After DCR reviews the plans, the contracts will go out to bid, von Tscharner said. She was hesitant to give a new timeframe for construction because she said, “I’ve been wrong before.”

“With the winter coming up there are a lot of unknowns,” von Tscharner said. “We have a few days to make the final design revisions and then the plans will go out to contractors for bidding. We hop to award a contract within a few weeks and then the contractor will decide whether they want to start right away depending on the weather conditions.”

More than a decade in the making, the conservancy successfully raised $2.5 million for the park, which will be located on the northern part of North Point Park, and secured Action Sports Design as the project designer. Since then, the conservancy, along with DCR, have held public hearings on the design.

von Tscharner said the last few months have mainly involved sorting out some soil management issues and how to handle a land easement issue.

“Those have now been fully addressed,” von Tscharner said. “Our other focus right now is working out construction access with DCR, but we are seeing progress on that front as well.”

Most recently, the state Senate approved a bill calling for the park to be named the Lynch Family skatepark after Carolyn and Peter Lynch of the Lynch Foundation made a generous donation. von Tscharner said the legislation is now on Gov. Deval Patrick’s desk to sign.

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