Thank you, Mr. Bay Bridge

Record Observer - - Opinion - Ch­ester

Gordy Gar­rett­son re­tired last week. You may not rec­og­nize his name, but for most of us, he has cer­tainly touched our lives. He has been the guy in charge of the Bay Bridge for the past six years. As Bay Bridge Ad­min­is­tra­tor, he has been call­ing the shots, lit­er­ally on a minute to minute ba­sis — bal­anc­ing the com­pet­ing and ur­gent needs be­tween emer­gen­cies, main­te­nance, and traf­fic — striv­ing to min­i­mize con­ges­tion and has­sles.

Most of us have lit­tle idea what goes on be­hind the scenes to keep it all bal­anced and mov­ing. We only get frus­trated and re­mem­ber those ter­ri­ble times when it doesn’t work. I serve as the Chair of the Bay Bridge Re­con­struc­tion Ad­vi­sory Group (BBRAG), an ap­pointed group of con­cerned citizens rep­re­sent­ing com­mu­ni­ties of Bay Bridge users from both sides of the Bay. I’ve had the op­por­tu­nity to plan and work with Gordy up close and per­sonal on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. And I have been im­pressed.

The Bay Bridge is one of the most im­por­tant and chal­leng­ing as­sets of crit­i­cal in­fras­truc­ture in the state, re­quir­ing con­stant mon­i­tor­ing, lead­er­ship and ad­just­ment, Gordy has al­ways been up to the task, al­ways keep­ing pub­lic safety para- mount. He has been ac­ces­si­ble and re­spon­sive — only a cell phone call away, will­ing to go the ex­tra mile to en­sure open com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the com­mu­nity. His lead­er­ship has been es­pe­cially ef­fec­tive dur­ing those frus­trat­ing times of ac­ci­dents and crit­i­cal in­ci­dents and dur­ing con­struc­tion and main­te­nance re­quire­ments, work­ing to bal­ance the re­quire­ments of emer­gency per­son­nel, en­gi­neers, and con­trac­tors with the ever grow­ing de­mands of all of us who drive the Bridge. Like­wise his role in the plan­ning and ex­e­cu­tion of the chal­leng­ing 10 K Across the Bay helped to make it a stun­ning suc­cess.

Gordy has been an out- stand­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the State of Mary­land in per­form­ing one of the most dif­fi­cult jobs in Mary­land — a real pro. On be­half of the BBRAG and all of us who de­pend on that bridge as our life­line across the Bay, we ex­tend our thanks for a job well done and our best wishes for a ful­fill­ing and suc­cess­ful fu­ture.

We wel­come our newly ap­pointed Ad­min­is­tra­tor, Ricky DeGrafen­reid, who has just taken over the helm as of March 30. We look for­ward to work­ing to­gether to help con­tinue the tra­di­tion of timely re­spon­sive lead­er­ship in one tough job!

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