By SCOTT JACKSON
The new Generals Bridge in Quincy Center, which connects Burgin Parkway to General Dunford Drive and leads to the city-owned parking garage, opened to traffic on Thursday after a ribbon cutting ceremony with Gov. Charlie Baker, Mayor Thomas Koch and one of the generals honored by the new Quincy Center span.
The ribbon cutting was held around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday. Cutting the ribbon was Retired Air Force Brigadier General Ronald Rand as Koch and Baker looked on. Gen. Rand was then given the ceremonial honor of being the first to travel over the bridge that now connects Burgin Parkway and the city-owned parking garage via General Dunford Drive, formerly known as Cliveden Street.
The general sat in the passenger seat of a red Subaru Outback as his brother Al Rand drove the vehicle and their sister Dot Rand rode along in the back seat.
Also attending the ceremony were family members of the other generals honored by the bridge and nearby Generals Park. They were both dedicated during a ceremony Sept. 11, 2021 and honor 18 generals with ties to Quincy who have served the United States since the country’s inception. Seven of the generals, who have served since World War II, are honored with statuary within the park.
The park includes life-size statues of three four-star generals: Joseph Dunford Jr., James McConville, and Gordon Sullivan. Four generals have busts within the park: Francis McGinn, Ronald Rand, the late Stephen Keefe Jr. and the late Charles Sweeney.
The state is picking up the tab for the construction of the bridge and related roadwork on Burgin Parkway, totaling about $10 million.
The bridge has one 11-foot travel lane in each direction, plus a five-foot shoulder, and a sidewalk. Motorists are only allowed to take a right-hand turn onto the bridge traveling north on Burgin Parkway and a right-hand turn off the bridge traveling north on Burgin Parkway. There is no left-hand turn from the bridge onto Burgin Parkway (south).
The city paid the roughly $25 million cost for improvements in the area of the former Ross Lot, including new and improved roadways – General Dunford Drive and General McConville Way – and new subsurface infrastructure. Those funds were set aside in a $61 million district-improvement-financing bond city councillors approved in June 2019 that will be paid back with new tax revenue generated in Quincy Center.