Old U.S. 281 bridge in Marble Falls getting new life as art

DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

MARBLE FALLS — Some of the old U.S. 281 bridge that once spanned Lake Marble Falls will have a chance to live on thanks to the efforts of local art enthusiasts.

“I just thought, ‘What a great opportunity to use a piece of the past to create something for the future,’” local artisan Janey Rives said. “And what more perfect place to put it than in front of the new Visitors Center.”

Rives and local sculptor Dan Pogue recently announced the “Bridging the Past to the Future” call for sculpture concepts. The program asks sculptors to submit drawings and proposals for a piece created from materials from the old bridge that will go in front of the new Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center, located at Second Street and U.S. 281, just north of the lake.

“This way, we get to keep a piece of the past,” Pogue said. “And what an exciting way to do it.”

At least 50 percent of the sculpture must utilize materials from the old bridge that was demolished March 17 after connecting the north and south sides of Lake Marble Falls for 77 years. Hill Country Recycling in Marble Falls, which won the bid to collect and recycle the old bridge pieces, has agreed to provide the materials to the winning sculptor.

“We’ve already had a lot of interest from sculptors,” Rives said. “I think it will be intriguing to see what the sculptors submit.”

Pogue said organizers hope to pick a winning design April 1 from submitted drawings and models.

Then the work begins.

“The idea is to finalize it by the third week in October and do the unveiling the same week of Sculpture on Main,” he said. Sculpture on Main is a year-long celebration of arts during which artists display sculptures in downtown Marble Falls. The pieces are changed each year, typically in October.

Rives said the Marble Falls Community Arts Program will donate the winning sculpture to the city of Marble Falls.

“In my mind, I can’t think of a better way to use some of the pieces of the old bridge to give us a gift for the future,” Rives said. “It’s going to be an impressive piece that will be no less than 15 feet high. And think about the impact it will have on people as they come across that new bridge into Marble Falls. What a wonderful way to welcome people to our city and community.”

For more information about Sculpture on Main or the bridge project, go to www.marblefalls.org or www.sculptureonmain.org.

daniel@thepicayune.com