Built St. Louis > > St. Louis Riverfront
On top of the physical difficulties, the financial incentives for building on the river don't seem that great. The Mississippi is not some sylvan backwater, nor does it flow through spectacular canyons or rock formations. It is a heavily industrialized working river, jam packed with huge barge tows and lined with processing plants and transfer points. The river today is a superhighway of industry.
Where it hasn't been built up, its banks are by and large left to nature. Much of the ground is floodplain, and simply isn't suitable for construction. Thus, there are forests and wetlands directly across the river from downtown St. Louis.
While many find it fascinating, it is not the sort of thing that tourists flock to see.
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