The Mississippi River is the largest river in North America, stretching 2500 miles from Minnesota to Louisiana. The Mississippi River basin drains all or part of 32 states in the U.S. and parts of southern Canada, and its banks are home to Minneapolis, St. Louis, Memphis, and New Orleans among numerous smaller towns. The Mississippi river empties into the Gulf of Mexico about 100 miles southeast of New Orleans.
New Orleans was founded by the French as a base for its French Mississippi Company in 1718, using the river as its primary source of transportation. During the American Revolution, with New Orleans then a Spanish colony, the Mississippi River was used as a route to smuggle aid to the Colonists in their struggle against the British. During the War of 1812, the British attempted to invade New Orleans via the Mississippi, but were stopped by a force led by Andrew Jackson at nearby Chalmette Plantation. Leading up to the Civil War, the port of New Orleans became the largest slave market in America. New Orleans was captured quickly in the Civil War, sparing it much of the destruction suffered by other southern cities.
The Port of New Orleans is the fifth largest in the U.S.. The Port of South Louisiana, which stretches 54 miles along the river betweenNew Orleans to Baton Rouge, is considered the largest port in the Western Hemisphere, though the definition of port seems loosely applied.
In New Orleans, the Crescent City Connection Bridge connects the east and west banks of New Orleans, Louisiana over the Mississippi; this is the fifth-longest cantilever bridge in the world. The Algiers Ferry also connects both sides of the river in New Orleans.
While exploring Woldenberg Park, we noticed this long bridge spanning the distance between two shores. After doing a little research, I discovered the following information.
First named the Greater New Orleans Bridge, it stretches about two and a half miles or 13, 428 ft. across the Mississippi River. U.S. Route 90 traverses this bridge. At the time of its opening (1958) it was the longest cantilever bridge in the world. When figuring main span length, it's third to the Forth Bridge and the Quebec Bridge*.
A second span known as the Greater New Orleans Bridge #2 opened in 1988. Following this occasion, a contest was held to rename these twin-cantilever bridges and they were rechristianed The Crescent City Connection.
Since they cross in and out of another parish and city and because they carry a huge amount of traffic, the New Orleans police do not have jurisdiction over this bridge. A special agency known as the Bridge Police is required to oversee it.
*info. from flickr.com
I thought that the area along the river would be called Riverwalk, but I've been informed that the area along the Mississippi for walking is called Moonwalk.
The Moonwalk was named for Mayor Moon Landrieu and is on the Mississippi River side of Artillery Park. I'm not sure whether this particular picture is of the Moonwalk or of Waldenberg Park.
Apparently there was a World's Fair in New Orleans in 1984 which was a financial failure. No wonder - I never even knew that there was a World's Fair there. Instead of something like the Space Needle in Seattle, the New Orleans World Fair resulted in a transformation of the riverfront from an area of railroads, warehouses and port activity into a large riverside park, marketplace and convention center. This is probably of more benefit to the city and the residents and tourists than a single monolithic building.
As you go upriver from Artillery Park, Jackson Square and the Moonwalk you'll find Waldenberg Park, Canal Place, The Jackson Brewery and Riverwalk. Just beyond the Riverwalk mall and just outside the French Quarter are the cruise ship docks and the Morial Convention Center.
Favorite thing: I never saw a moving steamboat, the nly steamboat we had in Hong Kong are those "eatable" steamboat (hotpot) ^0^. So I decided to take a cruise down the mighty Mississippi! Savor the beauty and romance of New Orleans on a two-hour cruise from the heart of the French Quarter.
Favorite thing: The Mississippi is an integral part of the south, especially New Orleans. The Delta is several miles south of the city, but it is widest at this point. There are old paddle-wheels running constantly. Sometimes you can see huge cruise ships docked by the Riverwalk, and they always throw streamers off...see cruise ships off was an all-time fave oppurtunity for my cousins and I when we were little! Occasionally U.S. military ships visit or are docked on the river. It's really interesting!
The Mississippi is basically a dirty river. But there is a boardwalk along the river in the French Quarter, which makes it a relaxing spot on a nice day.
Fondest memory: Lying on the grass near the Mississippi river soaking up the sun and sleeping off the excesses of the previous night.
The Mississippi River is still an important part of New Orleans' life and its economy. The water is a bit brown in color because of the silt it carries as it passes into the Mississippi Delta. Take a look at a map and you'll see the dramatic curves that the river makes as it meanders through New Orleans.
In fact the sharp curve just downriver from the Jackson Square is so sharp that boats must be very cautious when rounding its bend. It also is the origin of one of New Orleans' many nickanames, the Crescent City. This photo shows the Crescent City Connection Bridges that link the East and West Banks of New Orleans.
Favorite thing: Spend some time watching the Mississippi River. The traffic on that river is constant and ever-changing. Makes you think about how important major river ports, like New Orleans, were to commerce when the US was just being expanded west-ward. (And obviously, with this much container traffic, still absolutely essential!)