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The construction of the West Boston Bridge (now the Longfellow Bridge) in 1793 reduced the distance from Cambridge to Boston from 8 to 3 ½ miles, and opened the countryside between Harvard Square and the Charles River to development. The Longfellow Bridge reached the Cambridge shore near Kendall Square, but required a causeway to cross the salt marsh to Pelham’s Island, at today’s Lafayette Square. The first settlement in Cambridgeport was near the intersection of today’s Main Street and Massachusetts Avenue and developed into the Central Square business and cultural district.