Tons of steel salvaged from historic Rogers Bridge to become public art

Rogers Bridge, located at Rogers Bridge Park was being dismantled and salvaged in Duluth in June. Ten tons of salvaged steel from Rogers Bridge was  evenly divided between Johns Creek and Duluth for each city to use or distribute to the public. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

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Rogers Bridge, located at Rogers Bridge Park was being dismantled and salvaged in Duluth in June. Ten tons of salvaged steel from Rogers Bridge was evenly divided between Johns Creek and Duluth for each city to use or distribute to the public. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Johns Creek is partnering with Fulton County on the project

Johns Creek and Fulton County are working on an intergovernmental agreement for the creation of public art fashioned from the salvaged steel of a historic bridge.

Ten tons of metal from the Rogers Bridge over the Chattahoochee River was evenly divided between Johns Creek in Fulton County and Duluth in Gwinnett County last year for each city to use. Both cities decided to use their portion for public art.

Johns Creek is considering having a large piece of art created from its five tons of steel and installing it at Cauley Creek Park. Smaller pieces of art may be displayed at other locations around the city.

The public art would be a $200,000 project funded by Fulton County, which is contributing $150,000, and Johns Creek adding $50,000 from tourism funds, city spokesman Bob Mullen said via email Friday.

Johns Creek would be responsible for insuring and maintaining the artwork located on city-owned land.

Rogers Bridge was located in its namesake park in Duluth and dismantled in June. It was almost 230 feet long and weighed more than 50 tons. Built in 1911, the old steel bridge closed to vehicles approximately 40 years ago. A new pedestrian bridge, a $7.2 million replica of the original, is being constructed, connecting Rogers Bridge Park in Gwinnett County to Johns Creek’s future Cauley Creek Park in Fulton County. It’s expected to open this fall.

Fulton County is advising Johns Creek on a process to select an artist to create art pieces from the steel. Johns Creek City Council will review a proposed intergovernmental agreement during their work session on Monday.

During a Johns Creek City Council work session on March 28, Fulton Arts Manager Alex Frankcombe and Commissioner Liz Hausmann established a timeline on the art project and discussed forming a selection committee of 10-15 people to help in deciding on a budget and vision for the artwork as well as choosing an artist. The committee has not yet been formed but would include Johns Creek and Fulton officials, city staff members, leaders from local organizations and a resident.

The Fulton officials advised Johns Creek to issue a call for artists to submit applications to create public art from the salvaged steel by mid-April and to have an artist selected by the end of September. At that point, the artist’s work would be presented to City Council for approval.

The steel pieces were said to range from 11 to 15 feet in length when removed from the bridge, a Johns Creek 2021 memo said. They’re being stored at the former Cauley Creek Water Reclamation Facility.

In building the new bridge, Duluth, Johns Creek, Gwinnett and Fulton counties are each contributing $350,000 toward construction cost and splitting the cost of engineering and design. The Atlanta Regional Commission is contributing $5.1 million.

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