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Trail to be built to historic Rogers Bridge

LAWRENCEVILLE - While funding to restore the historic Rogers Bridge is still in question, officials have approved a contract to build a trail to it.

The $190,770 Rogers Bridge trail and multi-use path will connect Peachtree Industrial Boulevard to a Duluth park at the Chattahoochee River.

In the future, Gwinnett Transportation Deputy Director Alan Chapman said, the trail will connect to the county's Western Gwinnett Bikeway, under construction in phases, as well as a network of trails on the other side of the bridge in Fulton County.

"It's got a lot of potential," Chapman said of the trail, which will, in the short term, connect neighborhoods along Rogers Bridge Road to the park. "It will become part of this bigger network of trails."

Chapman said a study has revealed it would take $1 million to rehab the 100-year-old bridge for a pedestrian link. The funds have not been identified, but Chapman said it could be considered in the county's current sales tax funding process and the county may be able to get federal transportation or historic preservation dollars to help.

The Western Gwinnett Bikeway is also a work in progress. The southernmost portion from Pinckneyville Park to Summer Chase is complete, and Chapman said construction could begin next spring to carry the route to Pleasant Hill Road. A final piece to Rogers Bridge Road could begin next summer.

The trail project is a joint venture with the city of Duluth and the state. According to agreements commissioners signed off on last week, the city will pay up to $68,000 for the work with the state agreeing to up to $272,000.

Since the contract came in at 85 percent of the cost estimate, Transportation Director Brian Allen said the costs would be divided by a percentage and the county, which did the design work, may not have to pay any of the construction costs.