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300 turn out for leisurely bridge stroll

Nearly 300 people turned out Saturday for the first ever Spokane River Bridge Walk, which took participants across 17 pedestrian and traffic bridges from Monroe Street eastward to the Gonzaga University campus.

Most of the bridges are located in Riverfront Park, including a series of foot bridges that are remnants of Expo ’74.

The event had a family atmosphere with children joining their parents and moms pushing babies in strollers.

Judy Fitzpatrick, of Spokane, was joined by her daughter, Erin Fitzpatrick, who is home from college for the summer. They said they turned out as a way to do something together and to take in the river views.

“With the water running at full speed, what an opportunity to just enjoy the river at its finest,” Judy Fitzpatrick said.

Spring runoff recently crested on the river, which continues to flow this weekend at just under 20,000 cubic feet per second.

Scott Lindahl, of Spokane Valley, joined the action, but acknowledged he did not pay the $17 adult registration fee that provided participants with a commemorative pin and a discount at Riverfront Park for the day.

The event was put on by the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department.

“I just like to see what’s going on in town,” Lindahl said. “It’s kind of interesting – 17 bridges. I’ve crossed most of them before, but never all of them at the same time.”

Tyra Williams, a parks and recreation staff member, said she was pleased with the turnout, and is hoping that the event will draw 600 people next year as the word spreads.

“It’s mainly just a casual walk. It’s not timed,” she said.

Blue arrows were stenciled onto the pavement to show walkers the route, which started at Veterans Court adjacent to the Monroe Street Bridge and ended next to the Carrousel in Riverfront Park.