- Associated Press - Monday, June 1, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Underneath a 78-year-old bridge in St. Louis is a concrete area that skateboarders have used for several years to practice their tricks out of the view of motorists who travel the span daily.

But with the Kingshighway bridge now set for demolition, the skate park with its more than 40 obstacles will disappear with it, too, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1JjrmIe ) reported.

A new bridge is planned to replace the span as part of a $21 million project. It will close July 6.

“It’s kind of a shame. Kind of a bummer,” said Jason Tate, 26. “We put so much work into it.”

Skateboarders who built the park heeded city leaders’ warnings about the bridge’s forthcoming demolition and began looking three years ago for a permanent place to build a city-sanctioned park. They formed a nonprofit called Kingshighway Vigilante Transitions and settled on a vacant lot owned by the city.

The new park is open following a series of fundraisers and volunteer work to build it. Its grand opening ceremony is set for June 21.

The city initially planned to lease the property to the nonprofit, but with the help of others, it purchased the land for $5,000. The group raised an additional $35,000 to build the skate park.

“All in all, a pretty good park,” said 17-year-old Tyler Meyer. “You don’t have to push too much. It just kind of carries you around.”

“Push” is the ability to gain speed on a ramp, quarter pipe or another obstacle without having to use your feet for acceleration.

Although the new park has been received well, skateboarders say it’s going to let go of the spot underneath the Kingshighway bridge.

“It’s going to be a really rough time, a bad day for St. Louis skateboarding,” said the group’s 35-year-old leader, Bryan Bedwell. “Like losing a best friend.”

For now, though, the skateboarders have two parks that are two miles apart.


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com



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