Yes, you can now walk between Paul Revere Park, Charlestown, and North Point Park, Cambridge, in less than five minutes, thanks to the shiny new North Bank Bridge. And it actually looks pretty much the way it did in the planning drawings.
In case you’re not entirely sure where either of those parks is, here’s a helpful map from the Charles River Conservancy
What this means is that once the Zombie Apocalypse comes, you’ll be able to escape Charlestown without having to vault over all the flaming exploding cars stuck on the Zakim bridge. Also, for once pedestrians got something out of the Big Dig. To quote the Massachusetts Department of Transportation blog:
“In 1993, the Turnpike Authority agreed to allocate funds to the construction of the connecting bridges after the Central Artery/Tunnel Project was completed. After several years with no progress, the North Bank Bridge Project received federal stimulus ARRA funding in 2009 and construction began in 2010. Construction was completed in spring 2012.”
Got that? The Turnpike Authority agreed to allocate funds 19 years ago, but never ponied up the cash. Federal stimulus funds finally got it done.
*And* the bridge will allow skateboarders to reach the Charles River Skate Park! With luck—well, really, with money and a political push from the Charles River Conservancy—theCharles River Skate Park will open in December, 2013, just in time for Christmas skateboarding! Years from now, a generation of young skaters will have fond memories of toting their boards to the skate park on a starry night for some kickflips into oil-blackened slush.
The Charles River Conservancy will pay for the park’s construction, and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will fund maintenance, according to the Boston Globe. I don’t know if that includes snow plowing. But then again, it’s not clear if the North Bank Bridge is going to be plowed, either.
Given that both a substantial portion of the bridge and the entire skate park site lie in the shadows the Zakim Bridge and Route 93, it could take a very, very long time for pedestrian-packed glaciers to thaw out in the spring. So if you’re fleeing that Charlestown Zombie Apocalypse between November and May, bring your crampons.