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Neal Lee Gillis Bridge


Close-up view looking north along US 221/SR 135 towards the south approach to the bridge from center of road.

Photo taken by James Southerland in September 2018


BH Photo #440643


Street View 


This nearly half-mile long bridge carries a two-lane highway (US 221/SR 135) over the Altamaha River in a swampy and undeveloped area. The bridge is technologically significant as an early and complete example of the long-span continuous steel stringer bridge with riveted splice plates that became an important state standard design in the post-World War II era. This represents the continued evolution of the continuous design bridges that had been promoted and pioneered by the Georgia State Highway Department's bridge department in the late 1920s and 1930s.

The most significant feature of this 41-span bridge is the one, 3-span, continuous steel stringer span of 111'-150'-111' supported on two-column concrete bent piers. Other features of the bridge, such as the simply supported steel stringer approach spans on H-pile bents and the concrete railings, are typical postwar features.

The bridge is an impressive example of bridge engineering, as its design required involved calculations, and it is one of the largest surviving bridges done under State Bridge Engineer Clarence N. Crocker. The bridge is named in honor of Neal Lee Gillis, the father of long-time State Highway Board Commissioner Jim Lee Gillis.


Steel stringer bridge over Altamaha River on US 221/SR 135
Montgomery County, Georgia, and Jeff Davis County, Georgia
Open to traffic
Built 1952 by the State Highway Department
- State Highway Department
Steel stringer
Total length: 2,573.0 ft. (0.5 mi.)
Deck width: 32.0 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+31.95786, -82.51708   (decimal degrees)
31°57'28" N, 82°31'01" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/356630/3536769 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Hazlehurst North
Inventory number
BH 72797 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 2, 2019: Updated by Amber Rhea: Bridge is scheduled for demolition and replacement
  • July 14, 2016: Added by Amber Rhea


  • Amber Rhea