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Interstate 85’s Secret Skate Park Has Been Destroyed

An illegally built skate park near the site of the Interstate 85 bridge collapse has been destroyed.
Credit Al Such / WABE
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Atlanta’s secret skate park under Interstate 85 has been destroyed.

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The Georgia Department of Transportation destroyed the illegal park, citing “insurmountable safety and environmental concerns,” according to an 11 Alive report.

According to GDOT, although skate park builder Pat McLain applied several times to have the park permitted since its discovery, the department “has determined that the skateboard facility cannot remain and a permit cannot be issued for this facility.”

Environmental issues that GDOT cited to 11 Alive included a lack of public access, a lack of emergency vehicle access and the park’s proximity to a nearby creek, which creates environmental concerns.

McLain posted on his Instagram account that he and a group of supporters staged a sit-in, saying that a fellow supporter prevented the police from pepper-spraying him.

11 Alive first discovered the park shortly after a portion of I-85 collapsed in March. The park was built by members of the skateboard community without permits or permission from GDOT.

More than 23,000 supporters signed a petition to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in an effort to protect the park from demolition.

Reed said at a press conference in April that he did not condone the park, but that it was the result of a “creative” community.