A tiny new graveled trail runs near the Spokane River in Peaceful Valley, thanks to erosion and an exposed sewer pipe.
While it may not sound like the best place to walk, it’s a step up from the sandbags that were previously piled up against an exposed manhole and the dusty goat trails that invited only the slightly adventurous and surefooted.
The city embarked on trail-building after it determined that the further erosion could expose the 15-inch sanitary sewer pipeline immediately downstream from the manhole.
“It was really a maintenance need,” said Marlene Feist, spokeswoman for the city’s utilities department. “Every time you have a pipe exposed, you’re at risk of a rupture. We stabilized that, and as the plants fill that back in, it will become more stable.”
The trail is just 100 feet long or so, and it’s on the river’s edge near the intersection of West Clarke Avenue and North North Street. The city is planning to build a larger trail along Clarke next year, part of a loop around the Spokane River gorge that connects with the Centennial Trail in Kendall Yards, and crosses the river downtown in Riverfront Park and downstream at the Sandifur Memorial Bridge.
The small trail along the river’s edge will be a simple spur, and Feist said people are welcome to explore the path.
“It’s fine for people to walk down there,” she said. “It’s built for that.”
The work, which began last year, was originally estimated at more than $116,000, but came to $126,000 by the time it was completed because more materials and plants were needed to stabilize the riverbank.
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