Hartford broke ground on a new skate park this week. Skaters have dubbed it "Heaven" and say it will be a space for skaters, bikers, and artists.
The park is located just above the I-84 tunnel a few blocks from the XL Center. For years it's been an informal hangout spot for skaters and artists. And now, Hartford is ready to formalize "Heaven" as the city's first official skate park.
Brendan Mahoney is a member of the Friends of Heaven Skate Park. He said skateboarding has really become huge in Hartford.
"I want to say in the last five years, it's gone from every so often you would see a kid to, you just see kids always walking around with skateboards now," Mahoney said. "It's going to be awesome once it's done."
The hope is to complete construction on the park in six to eight weeks - before first snowfall. Workers will pour concrete ledges lipped with angled iron. Mahoney says that means the concrete can withstand both skateboards and harder-hitting BMX bikes.
"Other skate parks, if they don't do that - it chips away at edges of ledges and it makes it hard to skate and people complain and say that the BMXers are ruining the park," Mahoney said.
The project will be paid for using a combination of private funding, a $10,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation, and a federal grant arranged through the city of Hartford.