Haverhill Opens Dempsey Boardwalk Extension; Gov. Baker to Dedicate Lupoli Project Nov. 5

Salvatore N. Lupoli , fourth from left, cuts the ribbon on the newly extended Rep. Brian S. Dempsey Boardwalk. Joining him are, from left, Greater Haverhill Chamber President Dougan Sherwood, Rep. Andy X. Vargas, Mayor James J. Fiorentini, Council President Melinda E. Barrett, Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua, Assistant Economic Development Director Pamela Price, Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien, Economic and Planning Director William Pillsbury Jr. and Elaine Barker, owner of Paper Potpourri. (WHAV News photograph.)

Four decades apart, these city planning directors shepherded the original and extended Merrimack River boardwalks. Joseph J. Bevilacqua, now a city councilor, worked on the original, while current Economic and Planning Director William Pillsbury Jr. has overseen the last two extensions. (WHAV News photograph.)

While Gov. Charlie Baker will dedicate the new 10-story “Heights at Haverhill” building next week, developer Salvatore N. Lupoli and city officials gathered last Friday for the dedication of the latest extension to the city’s riverfront boardwalk.

Completed as part of a private-public partnership between the city, state and Lupoli Companies, the newest section of to the Rep. Brian S. Dempsey Boardwalk runs along the Merrimack River from behind Haverhill Bank to the Haverhill Post Office. Lupoli cut the ribbon, inaugurating the opening.

“You gave us an opportunity. You worked with us. As far as I’m concerned, this mayor and this City Council and the local people of the City of Haverhill all made this possible. We just happened to be the facilitator that built a building like this,” Lupoli said.

Lupoli added that despite the outbreak of COVID-19, his project was able to safely continue with more than 130 people thanks to the city’s Health Department, particularly Inspectional Services Director Richard MacDonald.

Baker is scheduled to dedicate the larger project Thursday, Nov. 5, but Rep. Andy X. Vargas did the job Friday of singing the praises of state MassWorks grants which made the Haverhill project possible.

“I show what investment has come into our community and how this really pays for itself and pays the state back multiple times over,” he said.

City Council President Melinda E. Barrett and Councilors Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien and Joseph J. Bevilacqua were present and thanked for their support along with Greater Haverhill Chamber President Dougan Sherwood and Economic and Planning Directory William Pillsbury Jr. Pillsbury said Lupoli “delivered exactly what he said he said to us he was going to do.”

“I’ve never been a surfer, but they always say you’ve got to ride the waves when they’re there, and I think we’ve got some waves in our direction right now,” he said.

Pillsbury used the opportunity to ask city councilors for their support of the city’s updated zoning plan Nov. 10.

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