Sidney Lanier Bridge

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Sidney Lanier Bridge
The two pylons of the Sidney Lanier Bridge
Official name Sidney Lanier Bridge
Carries US 17
Crosses Brunswick River
Locale Brunswick, Georgia
Maintained by Georgia Department of Transportation
Design Cable-stayed bridge
Total length 7,779 ft (2371 m)
Width 79.5 ft (24 m)
Longest span 1,250 feet (381 m)[1]
Clearance below 185 feet
Opened 2003
Coordinates 31°07′04″N 81°29′06″W / 31.11773°N 81.48503°W / 31.11773; -81.48503Coordinates: 31°07′04″N 81°29′06″W / 31.11773°N 81.48503°W / 31.11773; -81.48503
Original Sidney Lanier Bridge on left, new bridge under construction, April 2001

The Sidney Lanier Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge that spans the Brunswick River in Brunswick, Georgia, carrying four lanes of U.S. Route 17. The current bridge was built as a replacement to the original vertical-lift bridge, which was twice struck by ships. It is currently the longest-spanning bridge in Georgia and is 480 feet (150 m) tall. It is also the seventy-sixth largest cable-stayed bridge in the world. It was named for poet Sidney Lanier. Each year (usually in February), there is the "Bridge Run" sponsored by Southeast Georgia Health System when the south side of the bridge is closed to traffic and people register to run (or walk) the bridge.

The bridge hosts the N4XGI amateur radio repeater on the top of one of its pillars.[2]


Sidney Lanier Bridge, June 2005.

The original Sidney Lanier Bridge was opened June 22, 1956, and was built by Sverdrup & Parcel, the same firm that designed the I-35W Mississippi River bridge which collapsed catastrophically in 2007. On November 7, 1972 the ship African Neptune struck the bridge, causing parts of the bridge to collapse and causing several cars to fall into the water. Ten deaths were caused by the accident. On May 3, 1987 the bridge was again struck by a ship, this time by the Polish freighter Ziemia Bialostocka.

Scenes from the original version of The Longest Yard were filmed on the first Sidney Lanier Bridge. The raising of the lift spin was used by Burt Reynolds' character to escape the police.

Comparison with Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge and the Talmadge Memorial Bridge[edit]

The proximity and rivalry between Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah and Brunswick often lead to comparisons between the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge, the Talmadge Memorial Bridge, and the Sidney Lanier Bridge. Completed in 2005, the clearance under the Arthur Ravenel, Jr., Bridge is actually only one foot taller than that of both the Talmadge Memorial Bridge and the Sidney Lanier Bridge. Unlike the Talmadge Memorial Bridge and the Sidney Lanier Bridge, however, the Ravenel Bridge has eight travel lanes; the Talmadge and the Sidney both have just four lanes. The Ravenel also features a dedicated bike/pedestrian lane.

As for the span of the three bridges, the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge is 1,546 feet (471 m). The Talmadge Memorial Bridge is 1,100 feet (340 m). The Sidney Lanier Bridge is 1,250 feet (380 m).

As for the total length of the three bridges, The Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge is 13,200 feet (4,000 m). The Talmadge Memorial Bridge is 1.9 miles (3.1 km). The Sidney Lanier Bridge is 7,779 feet (2,371 m).

See also[edit]


External links[edit]