Alton IL is a Mississippi River cruise port and town in Madison County (Illinois USA), located approx 15 mi (24 km) north of St Louis MO (Missouri). The town has a population of around 28,000 and is a part of the Greater St Louis metro area. Cruise ships to Alton IL dock near Alton Marina (adjacent to Clark Bridge). As cruise port, Alton is included in the schedule of AQSC (American Queen Steamboat Company) and visited by the AQSC's riverboats American Queen and American Duchess. The closest cruise port is Hannibal MO.
The town's architecture is dominated by traditional Victorian-style houses. The downtown (and the commercial district) is located at the top of a hill. The current-day economy is based on river shipping (mainly cargo barges), manufacturing (Laclede Steel, Cope Plastics, Hanley Industries), agriculture, and tourism. Due to its location at the river, Alton IL suffered severe damages during the Great Flood of 1993 when Mississippi and Missouri rivers flooded an area sized ~320,000 mi2 (~830,000 km2) and for 3 weeks the town remained completely cut off. The flood was among the USA's most devastating and the damages were estimated at ~USD 15 billion (~26 billion in 2018-USD).
Clark Bridge (1994-opened, designed by Hanson Engineers Springfield IL) over Mississippi River interlinks Alton IL and West Alton MO. Clark Bridge is cable-stayed and four-lane (plus 2 bike lanes) and carrying the north-south US highway Route 67 (two lanes in each direction).
Alton's tourism industry started to develop in the early-20th century. The city's location and historical heritage (American Civil War) make it a popular destination for touring, gambling weddings-honeymoons, gourmet dining, nightlife. Best-known attractions include Argosy Casino, Alton Marina, premium golf courses, high-rated B&B inns, and guest houses. A designated bike path extends from north of downtown along the river and below the scenic limestone bluffs. Pere Marquette State Park (Jersey County, near Grafton IL, at the confluence of Mississippi-Illinois rivers) is popular for hiking and horse riding.
- Cruise Industry
Alton Illinois aldermen will meet at 6 PM on Monday (July 20) as a committee of the whole for a teleconference to consider an ordinance authorizing...July 20, 2020
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