BY JENNIFER SOLIS
---- — NEWBURY — Friends, family and state and local officials were on hand last Friday at a ceremony to dedicate a bridge on High Road in memory of John B. Hayden. The dedication was held on the north side of the bridge that spans the Parker River on Route 1A.
Speaking at the well-attended event were MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey, Highway Administrator Frank DePaola, former chief engineer Thomas F. Broderick, chief engineer Patty Leavenworth, former MassDOT Highway administrator Luisa Paiewonsky and Hayden’s daughter, Mia.
Hayden, a maintenance engineer for the MassDOT who began his career in July 1971 and died in 2008, was lauded for his strong work ethic and his commitment to his field. He set the bar for performance high for both himself and for his colleagues, officials said.
Although a West Newbury resident, he also had a personal historical connection to the site of the dedication. An 11th generation descendant of the first settlers of Newbury, Hayden had an ancestor named John Knight who landed in the same general vicinity as the bridge after journeying up the Parker River from Ipswich in 1635.
Following the dedication ceremony state Rep. Lenny Mirra commented on how impressive the turnout was at the event. “It shows how deeply respected and admired Mr. Hayden was to so many people. We’re fortunate to have public servants like him,” Mirra said.