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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Following brush fire, Spokane plans landscaping, safety improvements near Intermodal Center

UPDATED: Tue., July 20, 2021

The city of Spokane plans to make landscaping changes in the wake of a brush fire near the Spokane Intermodal Center earlier this year.

The city expects to remove the railroad ties that run along Sprague Avenue, as well as the nearby shrubbery and boulders “that people can hide behind,” city facilities director Jeff Teal explained to the City Council’s Finance and Administration Committee on Monday.

The concrete retaining wall on the west side of Browne Street will be torn down, while a new retaining wall will be erected adjacent to the railroad bridge.

The landscape nearby will be mostly cleared and regraded, but the existing trees will be protected. The plans call for 70 new, lower-growing shrubs to be installed and surrounded by basalt cobblestone.

The cost of the project is expected to be about $76,500. The City Council is expected to vote on the contract with Wall and Company, LLC, in the coming weeks. Last month, the council approved a special budget ordinance to use $410,067 in funds from the sale of the Normandie Complex on projects like the one near the Intermodal Center.

The upcoming project does not include security fencing, which was one of the recommendations made in a 2019 safety audit of the property conducted by the Spokane Police Department.

In April, firefighters were forced to quickly extinguish a fire that started in the shrubs at the corner of Browne Street and Sprague Avenue, KHQ reported.

In June, a man was beaten to death near the Intermodal Center.

“That has been a challenging location for some time, so we’re glad to see some activity going on down there,” Councilwoman Betsy Wilkerson said.

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