Rebuild of historic Rogers Bridge to link Duluth, Johns Creek parks

Duluth officials will break ground Monday, March 29 on its joint project with Johns Creek, Gwinnett County and Fulton County, in which it will demolish the historic Rogers Bridge and build a replica of it. (Courtesy of City of Duluth)
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Duluth officials will break ground Monday, March 29 on its joint project with Johns Creek, Gwinnett County and Fulton County, in which it will demolish the historic Rogers Bridge and build a replica of it. (Courtesy of City of Duluth)

Residents in Duluth and Johns Creek will be able to walk, jog or bike across the Chattahoochee River to see their neighbors by next summer.

Duluth officials will break ground Monday on a joint project with Johns Creek, Gwinnett County and Fulton County to demolish and rebuild a replica of the historic Rogers Bridge located in its namesake park. The pedestrian bridge will connect the two counties, allowing visitors to traverse from Rogers Bridge Park in Duluth to the future Cauley Creek Park in Johns Creek.

Besides using modern engineering techniques, the new bridge will be a replica of the old 228-foot-long bridge, said Margie Pozin, city engineer for Duluth. It will be 14-feet wide, allowing two-way traffic of pedestrians and bikers to cross at the same time, she said.

The original bridge was named after the Rogers family, who operated a ferry system across the Chattahoochee River. City officials believe the bridge dates back to 1912 — built to replace the ferry system to transport cotton over the river — and fell into disuse in the 1970s, Pozin said.

“You can’t get more warm and fuzzier than a park-to-park connection,” Pozin said. " If you wanted to kayak and you live in Johns Creek, you don’t have to drive your kayaks across the river on Ga. 120 and come back up Peachtree Industrial Boulevard to get to Rogers Bridge Park; you can just walk your kayak across the bridge.”

The new Rogers Bridge will allow park visitors to cross from Duluth into Johns Creek on foot or bike. (Courtesy City of Duluth)
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The new Rogers Bridge will allow park visitors to cross from Duluth into Johns Creek on foot or bike. (Courtesy City of Duluth)

Duluth and Johns Creek started planning for the project after completing a bridge condition survey in 2014, gathering feedback from residents and spending about four years on pre-construction, Pozin said.

Construction on the project will cost about $7.2 million, with $5.1 million coming from the Atlanta Regional Commission and $700,000 from the Georgia Department of Transportation. Duluth, Johns Creek, Gwinnett County and Fulton County will each put $350,000 toward construction costs. The partners also spent about $700,000 on pre-construction and design costs for the new bridge.