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In 1789 the town of Medford proposed to widen the bridge and pave the market-place, and the General Court was petitioned to grant a lottery for these purposes. The petitioners were given leave to withdraw. In 1794 a number of the inhabitants of Medford petitioned the Selectmen to insert an article in the warrant for the annual town-meeting, ‘To see if the town will build a draw in the Great bridge, or give liberty to certain proprietors to do it, upon obtaining permission from the General Court,’ and at the meeting held March 3, 1794, a committee was chosen to confer with the petitioners. Nothing, however, was done towards building a draw until March 5, 1804, when the town chose a committee to examine the bridge, and report in what manner it should be repaired, and April 2, 1804, the committee report, ‘that it is expedient that a new bridge be built, and recommend that it be 30 feet in width, also that it should have four piers of white oak timber of seven spoils each, the two outside piers to be set 20 feet from each other, to have an arch in the center of 26 feet in the clear, and a draw the width of the arch, provided individuals will be at the expenses of it, also that the south abutment should be taken up, so as to make the water-course 66 feet wide, the north abutment being very good to remain as it is, but strengthened by a pier to be placed in a proper position, and the new bridge to be raised three feet higher than the old one,’ the cost of rebuilding without a draw, and including the cost of a temporary bridge was estimated
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