August 14, 2015
Riverside Drive has long hemmed the Mississippi River and the bluff, two major assets of Memphis’ natural portfolio. For more than 80 years, the road has provided access to the Memphis riverfront and all of its recreational amenities and green spaces. Riverside Drive stays busy with 15,000 daily drivers and provides a connection to both I-55 and I-40.
Now crucial to the landscape of downtown Memphis and its drivers, this area by the river was once a steep slope not readily accessible. By extracting rocks and soil from the slope, engineers formed the flat surface that is now Riverside Drive. Below is photography of the construction and early use of Riverside Drive. At first glance it seems that not much has changed since the road was completed; however, if you look closely, the land that is now Tom Lee Park is missing… Look out for details about from where that additional land came. Coming soon in a in a RiverFact post: The creation of Tom Lee Park.
Riverside Drive shares an intersection with the iconic Beale Street.
Postcard with before and after picture of Riverside Drive.
Intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Riverside Drive
A young girl cuts the ribbon at the opening ceremony of Riverside Drive.
An elevator reaches down and over Riverside Drive to service boats.
A path was cut through the bluff to create a suitable surface for Riverside Drive.