The 32 mile Mississippi Greenway (formerly known as the Confluence Greenway) is a major greenway with a master plan to connect with the Missouri Greenway, Maline Greenway, the Trestle, the Arch grounds, Gateway Mall and River des Peres and Meramec Greenways south of downtown St. Louis. To advance this plan, Great Rivers Greenway has invested more than $31 million in land acquisition and greenway construction since 2001.
Projects include the Confluence Point State Park in St. Charles County, the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge and Riverfront Trail in the City of St. Louis, the McKinley Bridge Bikeway and Branch Street Trestle, and the Trestle in the City of St. Louis.
Current Status Mississippi Greenway North of Downtown:
The Mississippi Greenway: Chouteau Riverfront to Old Chain of Rocks Bridge 15-mile (Riverfront Trail) winds through both sides of the flood wall that protects the City of St. Louis and offers views of the working riverfront that even most native St. Louisans have never seen before. The new 1.5 mile extension from Biddle to Chouteau opened in June 2016 and connects to the new circulation pathways on the Gateway Arch grounds.
Great Rivers Greenway and the City of St. Louis are looking at several areas along the greenway that could benefit from design modifications to decrease conflicts between recreational users and vehicles that need access for commerce along the industrial riverfront. Plans for this study are in development.
Improvements to Old Chain of Rocks Bridge
In 2019, Great Rivers Greenway worked with the Chain of Rocks Stakeholder Group which includes people who have a technical knowledge of the site and people who have a vested interest in the area to plan improvements for the site. The Stakeholder Group identified desired amenities for the site such as meadow and woodland restoration, nature trails, secured entrance to the site with parking lot, event area and overflow parking, extension of the Mississippi Greenway trail around the site, portable restrooms, and security features. The natural resources on the site were assessed in 2020. The Stakeholder Group is using this information to design the improvements to the site from summer 2020 through summer 2021. Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2021 and be completed by late 2022.
The Mississippi Greenway Park Master Plan continues to build on the previous North Riverfront Open Space and Redevelopment Planning effort completed in 2015. It focuses on the initial park and open space creating the synergy for future development along this important corridor.
The Katherine Ward Burg Garden is the first step in this long-term plan to redevelop the St. Louis Riverfront north of the Eads Bridge and Gateway Arch. Situated adjacent to the Eads Bridge, the half-acre plaza will be a wonderful, welcoming spot once people exit the MetroLink at the Laclede’s Landing stop.
The Katherine Ward Burg Garden has been designed to create a flexible and welcoming open space which attracts visitors north from the Arch grounds to explore Laclede’s Landing or welcomes people to the Arch grounds from the Landing. This new meeting place incorporates an iconic trellis, stepped terraces and curving seatwalls offering a comfortable spot for respite, a meeting place to start an adventure and a site that can be adapted for special events and programs. The gently sloped landscape allows for accessible ramp access from First Street down to Commercial Street, a way for all people to move down toward the river, eventually connecting to the Mississippi Greenway. Construction is underway!
The City of St.Louis received a grant to make improvements to the sidewalks, streets and intersections on First St. and portions of Second St. on Laclede’s Landing. These improvements will make the area more accessible for people walking, riding a bike and using a wheelchair. It will also make for a smoother ride on the cobblestone streets! Stay tuned for updates. The project is made possible by a generous estate donation via Katherine W. Burg’s trust.
North Riverfront Open Space and Redevelopment Plan
Great Rivers Greenway has worked in collaboration with the City of St. Louis, Metro, MoDOT, Laclede’s Landing Merchants Association and other stakeholders on various studies to enhance the area known as the North Riverfront. This project area is defined as the St. Louis Riverfront with Eads Bridge on the south, the new Stan Musial/ Veterans Memorial Bridge on the north, the Mississippi River on the east, and Highway I-44 to the west.
The overall goal of the Open Space and Redevelopment Plan is to promote economic revitalization of the North Riverfront by transforming vacant property along the Mississippi River into public parks and recreation amenities as well as encouraging private enterprise.
The Trestle is the 1.5-mile abandoned, elevated rail line (the green painted bridge across Interstate 70). This is a major initiative that costs approximately $60 million to restore the structure, which our taxpayer funding cannot cover alone. We did a feasibility study for a fundraising campaign and the St. Louis donor community was not ready for us to launch a capital campaign to raise the necessary funds. We’re continuing to maintain the structure, but will need a comprehensive partner effort with major private or grant investment to move forward. We look forward to the day we can bring the Trestle to life for the St. Louis community!
Current Status Mississippi Greenway South of Downtown:
The master plan for the southern portion of the Mississippi Greenway extends it nine miles from downtown St. Louis to the River des Peres Greenway and then ten miles further to the Meramec Greenway. Currently, there are two completed greenways along the Mississippi Greenway–Cliff Cave County Park and Jefferson Barracks to River des Peres.
Mississippi Greenway: Jefferson Barracks to River City Casino extends 1.75 miles from the trailhead in Jefferson Barracks Park to the northern edge of the River City Casino Property along the River des Peres. Visitors to Jefferson Barracks Park in St. Louis County can use this greenway to get an up close view of the Mississippi River, and will eventually be able to walk or ride all the way to Carondelet Park or the Lansdowne-Shrewsbury MetroLink Station.
Mississippi Greenway: Cliff Cave County Park features a 4.66 mile (paved) route along the Mississippi River and 2.04 miles up the 170 foot bluff to a scenic overlook. There is also a connection to Telegraph road for people walking and biking. This segment of greenway lies entirely within Cliff Cave Park–named for the cave tucked in the bluffs of south St. Louis County. The park offers hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails as well as picnic areas and shelters.
Mississippi Greenway to River des Peres Greenway:
Construction to extend the Mississippi Greenway from its current endpoint on the River City Casino Property and connect with the River des Peres Greenway is temporarily on hold. The extension of the River des Peres Greenway between Alabama and Broadway is largely complete, but the remainder of the paved route will not be constructed until Metropolitan Sewer District completes repairs and sewer line improvements in this area. We are looking at other options to make this connection. Stay tuned for additional updates!
Archived Cliff Cave Project Information:
Click here to see the safety analysis for the Telegraph and Erb intersection
Click here for the latest update on this project (July 31, 2017)
Click here to see the presentation from our October 13, 2016 Open House
Click here to see the presentation boards from our January 13, 2016 Open House or click here for a recap and update from the open house.