Viaducts One Landmark in Effort to Clean up Spokane

By Paige Browning

New collaborations between the city of Spokane, police, and the business district intend to improve Spokane’s quality of life. One example: the opening of a downtown police facility last month. Another: a good old-fashioned paint job.

Standing under a railroad viaduct a few months ago you may have seen graffiti, trash, and grimy old paint jobs. But since April, Geiger Corrections Center inmates repainted each viaduct from Maple Street to Division. Jan Quintrall from the city’s Business and Developer Services says they got an immediate response from neighboring business owners.

Gretchen Renz is property manager at Bernardo-Wills Architects, on Railroad Avenue and Jefferson Street. She says the viaduct there has always been "kind of cruddy.” She says previous lack of care made the underpass a magnet for camping and graffiti. Now, the viaduct is a crisp, cream and grey.

Renz: “By and large it’s just been amazing how clean it’s stayed, and it’s so easy now that it’s completely done, just to keep it that way.”
 
It’s a clean fix to city eye-sores. But holdups will remain, like new graffiti, and Quintrall admits the wide-and-busy Browne Street bridge is a challenge for upkeep. Quintrall says the next phase includes lighting.

Railroad Avenue viaduct after the spring, 2013 paint job. By Paige Browning.
Railroad Avenue viaduct after the spring, 2013 paint job. By Paige Browning.
 
Railroad Alley in August, 2011. Photo screenshot from Google Maps.
Railroad Alley in August, 2011. Photo screenshot from Google Maps.

Copyright 2013 Spokane Public Radio
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