Zakim Bridge, 2003
Along the Freedom Trail, just north of Copp's Hill Burying Ground, is the beautiful Leonard P. Zakim / Bunker Hill Bridge. The 10 lane cable-stayed bridge is the crowning structure of the multi-billion dollar Big Dig Project. The Zakim Bridge replaced a decaying steel truss bridge over the Charles River that was a connector to the Tobin Bridge.
Lenny Zakim (1953-1999) was a civil rights hero. Boston has experienced some tumultuous periods in race relations in its long history. Zakim dedicated his life to reducing prejudice and to bring diverse groups together. He was the New England Director of the Anti-Defamation League, and made great improvements in relations between the Jewish and African-American groups in greater Boston. His efforts allowed varying groups to work together to achieve improvements in civil rights.
In 1985, Zakim started the World of Difference Institute, with a goal of combating racism, anti-Semitism, prejudice and bigotry, in any form. He was honored in 1999 with the title of Knight of St. Gregory by Pope Paul II in recognition of his life's work in mending relations between different groups. The Lenny Fund was established locally in his honor.
The Zakim Bridge is best viewed from a distance at night, as powerful blue lights accentuate its tall towers and cables. The bridge does not have a pedestrian walkway, so it can be observed from the North End. The south tower of the bridge is 295 feet tall, and the north 327 feet tall. Each tower is also a representation of the Bunker Hill Monument.
Downtown Boston to Charlestown, Spanning the Charles River