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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Sidney Lanier Bridge
US-17 South Brunswick River Crossing At Brunswick
Brunswick, Georgia

Sidney Lanier Bridge

• Bridge: Sidney Lanier Bridge
• Structure ID: NBI 000000012750200
• City: Brunswick
• State: Georgia
• Country: USA
• Carries: US-17
• Crosses South Brunswick River:
• Date Opened: June 26, 2003
• Total Length: 7,780 Feet
• Longest Span: 1,250 Feet
• Tower Height: 486 Feet
• Deck Width: 74 Feet
• Number Of Lanes: 4
• Number Of Spans: 1
• Height Above Water: 203 Feet
• Traffic Count: 11,500 (2002)
The Sidney Lanier Bridge is located at the entrance to the harbor at Brunswick, Georgia. It replaces an earlier lift bridge. Given that 20 large ships enter or exit the harbor each day, the lift bridge was often closed for many hours each day. In shrimping season, the bridge would be raised many more times. As a result, traffic across the old bridge was often backed up.

Another key reason for building a new bridge is that many modern ocean going ships are larger than what the old lift bridge would allow. That prevented Brunswick from competing on a global scale. In fact, two ships struck the old lift bridge, causing 10 deaths and resulting in the bridge being closed for many months.

The new Lanier Bridge has the appearance of the classic bridge to nowhere. It sits on a small loop of road only a few miles from I-95. In fact, you can see the bridge from I-95. There are several alternate routes, and plenty of exits on I-95, so the bridge only saves a mile or two of travel. I was surprised at how high the traffic count was compared with the few cars that I saw on the bridge. In comparison to other major Cable Stayed bridges, the 11,500 traffic count is relatively small. Then again, the bridge is still very new, so time will tell.

The bridge was named after Georgia poet Sidney Lanier, whose poem The Marshes Of Glynn is set in Brunswick and describes the vast open saltwater marshes in Glynn County.

The photo above is a view looking northeast towards the cable stayed spans of the Sidney Lanier Bridge. The photo below is looking west towards the upriver west face of the south bridge tower. The ship sitting under the bridge is a small cruise ship used for day trips that is based at this location.


Sidney Lanier Bridge
Sidney Lanier Bridge
These two photos are views of the upriver west face of the Sidney Lanier Bridge. The vantage point is the shoulder of highway US-17 about 2 miles southwest of the structure. The photo above focuses on the main spans, while the photo below is a wider view that shows more of the approach spans.

Sidney Lanier Bridge
Sidney Lanier Bridge
These two photos are the first of a six photo series showing a typical river crossing heading northbound on US-17 towards the city of Brunswick. The photo above is approaching the south end of the bridge. The photo below is rounding the sweeping bend on the south end of the bridge approaching the suspended cable stay spans.

Sidney Lanier Bridge
Sidney Lanier Bridge
These two photos continue our northbound bridge crossing. The photo above is passing between the cables near the south bridge tower. The photo below is a view from mid-span approaching the north bridge tower.

Sidney Lanier Bridge
Sidney Lanier Bridge
These two photos are final views crossing the Sidney Lanier Bridge heading northbound. Both views are descending the approach spans on the north side of the main cable stayed spans. The photo above is near the top of the downhill ramp, while the photo below is approaching the north end of the structure.

Sidney Lanier Bridge
Sidney Lanier Bridge
These two photos are views of the concrete girder spans at the north end of the bridge. The photo above is a view from the remains of the highway leading to the old bridge. The photo below is a view from the end of the remaining section of the old bridge that still exists. Note the two different styles of piers, with two smaller vertical supports on the shorter piers, and one larger vertical support on the taller piers.

Sidney Lanier Bridge
Sidney Lanier Bridge
The photo above is a view from the south side of the river channel looking up towards the west face of the bridge. The photo below is a view from the north side of the river channel. Both locations are along the path of the old bridge that once stood at this location.

Sidney Lanier Bridge
Sidney Lanier Bridge
These two photos are views of the main channel cable stayed spans as seen from the end of the remaining span of the old bridge on the north side of the river channel. The photo above is wider shot that shows the entire river crossing, while the photo below is a closer view of the navigation channel as it passes under the suspended span.

Sidney Lanier Bridge
Sidney Lanier Bridge
The photo above is a detail view of the underside of the bridge as it connects to one of the tall T-piers. The photo below is a detail view of the south end of the suspended spans.

Sidney Lanier Bridge

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