Hogan, Board of Public Works honor state's bridge chief after 65 years

Gov. Larry Hogan, Board of Public Works honor state's bridge chief on retirement after 65 years.

Gov. Larry Hogan and other members of the Board of Public Works on Wednesday honored the state's longest-serving employee, who is retiring after 65 years working on the state's highway bridges.

As family and co-workers looked on, Earle J. "Jock" Freedman accepted accolades after a career that began at the predecessor to the State Highway Administration in 1950 as a junior bridge designer. Freedman, 86, has headed the highway agency's Office of Bridge Development since 1974.

Hogan praised Freedman's emphasis on the "safety, simplicity and beauty" of the state's bridges -- pointing to the examples of the highly praised Woodrow Wilson Bridge replacement over the Potomac River and the U.S. Naval Academy Bridge over the Severn River.

Freedman brought with him the original slide rule he used for calculations when he first arrived at what was then the State Roads Commission and a copy of his plans for the first bridge he designed.

After receiving a plaque from the governor, Freedman thanked Hogan for his funding of a program to replace all of the state's structurally deficient bridges.

"You gave us the money to do what we needed to do and we're doing it," said Freedman, who lives in Pikesville.

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