(Additional photographs below)
Haverhill’s “Ted and Mary Murphy Bridge” was formally dedicated Wednesday morning with cheers and maybe even a few tears of joyful thanks.
As WHAV reported first early last month, legislation to name the 1961-era bridge over Interstate 495, not far from the Murphy’s Garrison’s Golf Center on Hilldale Avenue, was conceived by Haverhill attorney Sean P. Gleason and other members of the Penta Par 3 Golf Tournament Committee. At an outdoor ceremony at the golf course, Rep. Andy X. Vargas said the Murphy’s actually inspired the kind of cooperation it took to have the bridge named in their honor.
“It took teamwork to make this possible. It’s something that Ted and Mary have been promoting for a long time. Teamwork—ways to support our young people to get involved in sports, activities and team play,” he said.
Gleason praised Ted and Mary Murphy for their commitments to their business and community, but saved his highest praise for their devotion to family.
“Together, you celebrated your faith, going to church every Saturday together. Together, you raised a family—not just any family, the Murphy family. A collection of truly amazing individuals. Pardon me for saying, but they are a reflection of you,” he told the large crowd of friends, family, educators, business leaders and city officials.
Just after the legislature’s formal session, Gov. Charlie Baker signed the “Ted and Mary Murphy Bridge” legislation. It had worked its way quietly through the State House over the last year. Besides Vargas’ sponsorship in the House, Sen. Diana DiZoglio walked the bill through the Senate. She noted how the Murphys’ legacy overcame complications facing the state.
“Of course, we wanted to make sure we got this through as quickly as possible. It took a little bit of time. We had a little bit of a rough time because the pandemic hit and everything was shut down. It did take a little longer than we wanted it too, but it is so sweet to see that this has finally become a reality,” she said.
Haverhill City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett took time to highlight the Murphy’s well recognized spirit of giving over more than 50 years.
“They are the go-to for any charity that wants a raffle. You go to the Murphys and they give, and they give, and they give and they give. It is so great that we as a community are able to celebrate them today with this recognition of a bridge that will live forever,” Barrett said.
Mary Murphy explained what motivates her and her husband. “What we do is out of love and we love everybody and we thank you—people who put this together.”
Ted Murphy also demonstrated his hidden talent, singing Perry Como’s “When You Come to the End of the Day.”
Workers for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation erected one of the two signs at the bridge. They brought the other temporarily to the dedication ceremony at Garrison Golf, where the couple unveiled it.