The Central Artery/Tunnel Project, known as the "Big Dig," was one of the most remarkable engineering feats and roadway construction projects in history. The Rose Kennedy Greenway is a prominent feature. The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge is a Boston icon and landmark, both a result of the Big Dig. The transformation of Spectacle Island from a city garbage dump that was once polluting Boston Harbor into a national and state park is lesser-known.
Specs of Spectacle Island is the story of Specs, a chipmunkel born and raised on Spectacle Island, and his journey during the Big Dig. The chipmunkels, living on Spectacle Island were forced to live underground to escape the construction and turmoil during the island's restoration. Specs, annoyed having to live life underground, leaves the island in search of a better life.
He swims to some of the other harbor islands only to find he is rejected. The inhabitants call him the "Spectacle Creature" from the contaminated island and chase him away. He travels to Boston and struggles to adjust to life in the big city. Making friends with the mud rats in the subway, he learns about the Big Dig and the dirt getting shipped to some island in the harbor. Recognizing it must be Spectacle Island, he goes back home. Except the island no longer resembles the place he left. He cannot find his family or any other chipmunkels. Instead, he finds lots of other strange animals now living on the island.
Spectacle Island has an intriguing history. Generating a curiosity about the Big Dig and Spectacle Island, Specs of Spectacle Island: A story of an island from trash to treasure provides a background of the enormous, complex project underpinning the island's transformation and Boston Harbor's cleanup. The book includes information about Spectacle Island, the Big Dig, the Zakim Bridge, and The Greenway.