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Gravelly bridge.

Gravelly bridge is located in Salem street over Gravelly creek, and as the flow of the tide at that point was sufficient to prevent the passage of teams at high water it is more than probable that the first bridge over this creek must have been built in the early days of the settlement of the town. April 27, 1716, Deacon Thomas Willis, John Whitmore, Jonathan Tufts, Ebenezer Brooks, and John Willis were chosen a committee to view and consider what method may be most proper [p. 24] for the repairing of Gravelly bridge, and to report at the next meeting. June 11, 1716, the town voted to raise five pounds to repair the meeting-house and mend Gravelly bridge; in 1751 the town voted to rebuild Gravelly bridge with stone.

The bridges over Marble or Meeting-house and Whitmore brooks in High street were by order of the town rebuilt of stone in 1803; these brooks where crossed by the street are not affected by the flow of the tide. All of the bridges above mentioned were originally built so as to allow fording-places at their sides for the purpose of watering horses and cattle, and they have since been enlarged and extended so as to cover the entire width of the streets.

The bridge over Gravelly creek at Riverside avenue was built in 1746, by private parties, for the purpose of making a convenient way to the tide-mill; and by agreement with the owners of the land over which this way was laid the bridge was built of stone.

The bridge over Mystic river, at Harvard avenue, was built in 1856; it is situated in the city of Medford and town of Arlington, and by a vote of the town of Medford in 1857 was named ‘Usher's bridge.’

The bridge at Winthrop street was built in 1857 and named ‘Winthrop bridge.’ The decree of the County Commissioners required that it should be built with a draw, or with a movable section so as to allow for the passage of vessels.

The bridge at Boston avenue was built in 1873; it is situated in the cities of Medford and Somerville, and its abutments and piers are the same that supported the aqueduct of the Middlesex canal, which crossed the river at that point.

The bridge at Auburn street was also built in 1873.

Middlesex-avenue bridge was built in 1873, by the County of Middlesex; it is situated in the cities of Medford and Somerville, and is maintained at the joint charge of those cities; the care of the bridge and the [p. 25] appointment of draw-tender devolves upon the city of Medford.

The bridge over the Boston & Lowell Railroad at College avenue was built in 1861, by the town of Medford, and is the only bridge over that railroad whose maintenance is chargeable to Medford.

The bridge over this railroad at Winthrop street was originally built eighteen feet in width. When the County Commissioners laid out this way as a county way, they ordered the bridge to be widened to twenty-five feet. The railroad company contended that it was not liable for any expense in widening the bridge, and the matter was settled by the town assuming the expense in widening, and the company assuming its care and maintenance so long as it should be needed for the said company's convenience.

In addition to the railroad bridges above mentioned, there is one at Harvard street, where the street passes under the railroad, and one each at North and Grove streets, where those streets pass over said railroad.

Mention should be made of those bridges that once existed in our streets over the Middlesex canal. There was one over the branch canal at Mystic avenue near Swan street, and one each over the main canal at Main street near Summer street, at Winthrop street near West street, at North street at its junction with West, Cotting, and Auburn streets, and at High street at its junction with Boston avenue.

The abutments of the bridge over the canal, where crossed by the Boston & Lowell Railroad, may still be seen near the Chemical Works, on Boston avenue in the city of Somerville.

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