The Sidney Lanier Bridge in Brunswick, GA is a stunning sight imposed against the scenic backdrop of the Brunswick, Georgia skyline south of Newcastle Street, as it is the seventy-sixth largest cable suspension bridge in the world, and the longest and tallest cable bridge in all of Georgia. It spans over 7,780 feet in length and is 486 feet tall, crossing the Brunswick River in its entirety, providing easy access from Interstate 95. The current reincarnation of this bridge in Brunswick, Georgia contains 95,283 cubic yards of concrete and 14,810,095 of reinforcing steel.
Named for the Georgian poet Sidney Lanier—famous for writing the poem “Marshes of Glynn,” which celebrated the beauty of the marshes surrounding the Glynn area—the original Sidney Lanier Bridge was a lift bridge that was opened to the public on June 22, 1956. Tragedy befell the original Brunswick, Georgia bridge on two separate occasions: once on November 7, 1972, during which the ship African Neptune struck the bridge and caused ten deaths, and once on May 3, 1987, when the bridge was struck by another ship, the Polish freighter Ziemia Bialostocka. On a more positive note, the original Sidney Lanier Bridge was the setting for several scenes in the comedic film The Longest Yard, during which the character played by Burt Reynolds escapes from the police.
The new Brunswick, GA bridge is the current site of the annual 5k Bridge Run, sponsored by the nonprofit Southeast Georgia Health System for the purpose of funding its cancer care programs and has been labeled by the U.S. Track and Field Association as “the toughest 5K in Georgia.” Participants who choose to walk or run in the Bridge Run can seek sponsorship for their trek, which consists of crossing the bridge twice. A word of caution: you should only attempt this run if you have trained properly for the event.
Visiting the Sidney Lanier Bridge in Brunswick, GA
The Sidney Lanier Bridge is open all day, every day, year-round. Visitors can conduct their own free, self-guided walking tours; just be mindful of the traffic along the bridge and keep strictly to the walking path.
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