Cranston bridge renamed for respected legislator

(Brian Yocono/WPRI)

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – A heavily-traveled bridge has been renamed in honor of a long-serving state legislator.

Mayor Allan Fung joined several other officials Saturday morning to rename the bridge that carries Reservoir Avenue over the Pocasset River The Honorable Raymond M. Durfee Bridge.

Durfee, who died in 2011, was a member of the House from 1963 to 1970 and a Senator from 1970 to 1978. He also served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was discharged at the war’s end having reached the rank of Lieutenant.

Those who attended the dedication ceremony, including his oldest son, agreed that Durfee was a dedicated public servant.

“He treated people like he would want to be treated,” Peter Durfee said. “He was always a statesman. In debate he was able to disagree without being disagreeable and he earned the respect of those with differing ideas as a result.”

He also owned a hardware store in Rolfe Square, and to get there from his home he drove over the same bridge that now bears his name for decades.

“He was sincere in his desire to help people, whether it was his constituents or his customers,” Senator Hanna Gallo said. “He was honest and his word could be counted on.”

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