Its outstretched arms linking Brunswick to the rest of the Golden Isles, the Sidney Lanier Bridge soars over the Brunswick River. This, the longest-spanning bridge in Georgia, stretches 7,779 feet across and reaches 480 feet at its highest point. The sleek design creates a sense of lightness that belies the 95,283 cubic yards of concrete and 14,810,095 pounds of reinforcing steel used to construct the massive structure.
The bridge, named for poet Sidney Lanier, has become an iconic landmark in the Golden Isles. Built in 2003, the four-lane bridge has two identical towers that anchor its cables to the bridge deck. The cables fan out to form two pyramids on either side of the bridge.
Whether viewed from historic Brunswick or across St. Simons Sound, the Sidney Lanier Bridge shimmers each evening in the waning light of sunset and seems to float in the clouds of an early morning fog.
WHO WAS SIDNEY LANIER?
“And I would I could know what swimmeth below when the tide comes in
On the length and the breadth of the marvelous marshes of Glynn.”
Final couplet of the poem “The Marshes of Glynn” by Sidney Lanier
Sidney Clopton Lanier (February 3, 1842 – September 7, 1881) was an American musician, poet, and author. A native Georgian, Lanier was a true renaissance man. In addition to his artistic endeavors, he was a teacher and a lawyer. He travelled extensively throughout the South and wrote and composed music along the way.
His visit to the Golden Isles proved inspirational for Lanier. “The Marshes of Glynn” (1878) and “Sunrise” (1881), both written as part of an unfinished set of lyrical poems to be know as the “Hymns of the Marshes,” are generally regarded as his greatest works. Both poems celebrate the breathtaking beauty of the Golden Isles.
HOW TO EXPERIENCE THE SIDNEY LANIER BRIDGE
Lace up your running shoes!
The Southeast Georgia Health System Bridge Run has become a much-loved annual tradition in the Golden Isles. Each February, runners start on the southbound side of the bridge, go over, and return back, crossing the bridge twice. The U.S. Track and Field Association has certified it as the toughest 5K in Georgia.
When the Bridge Run is over and the winners properly lauded, a fun walk commences on the bridge, followed by a family-friendly festival featuring community vendors, food and drink, entertainment, and children's activities. Proceeds benefit the Southeast Georgia Health System’s cancer and cardiac care programs.
Pack a Picnic
In the shadow of the bridge lies Sidney Lanier Park, which features an observation area and fishing platform. It is a great place to watch small boats and giant ships as they pass beneath the Sidney Lanier Bridge.
Get on the Water
One of the best ways to experience the Sidney Lanier Bridge is from the water. Boaters can use the paved ramp to launch their voyage. Be sure to check the tides before you chart your course. Or for those 18 and older, head out on the Emerald Princess Casino, which departs from her dock beneath the Sidney Lanier Bridge.
Whether you span the breadth of the Sidney Lanier Bridge on your way to explore Jekyll Island or while participating in the Bridge Run, be sure to take in the sweeping panoramic views of the Golden Isles along the way.
SIDNEY LANIER BRIDGE PHOTO GALLERY
Easily one of the most photographed locations in the Golden Isles, these pictures of the Sidney Lanier Bridge showcase the beauty of its intricate architecture.