NORWAY — Work on the so-called Quartz Bridge which spans Main Street over Bird Brook is progressing.

Local businessman Tony Morra said the idea to restore the bridge came to him one day as he was working on his property next to the bridge.

“I kept seeing that bridge and I mentioned it to Andrea Burns (president of Norway Downtown) and the idea just took off,” Morra said Thursday.

Ken Marston of DMT Inc. in Lewiston, which deals with damaged masonry projects, said the material used in the original bridge is not available today, so he is using a similar quick concrete and sand mixture to repair the cracked and decayed railings on either side of the street. A new base will be poured on the spiral-like post that originally held large white lamps.

The project will cost about $11,000 and will restore the bridge base, the post and the light fixture.

Selectmen voted on April 3 to take $10,000 from the Community Development Account to pay for repairs to the bridge, said Town Manager David Holt.

While no one seems to know the history behind the bridge, an undated photograph shows it with a round white globe on top of the post, Morra said.

Marston, who has worked on bridge repairs and other masonry jobs for years, said he recalled seeing a bridge similar to this in the Brunswick area but didn’t know of any other exactly like the one in downtown Norway, with its large pieces of embedded quartz.

Norway Historical Society curator Charles Longley said he believed the bridge was built after the great fire of 1894 that destroyed much of the downtown on the north side of Main Street.

“We never really could find out,” Longley said. “We assumed maybe it was after the fire, because it burned down everything on that side of the road.”

Morra said the bridge has been obscured for years by branches, which he has trimmed back. He is hoping to do a little more trim work to bring out the uniqueness of the bridge.

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