Marlene Feist, Public Works Director of Strategic Development, 509.625.6505
Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 9:24 a.m.
The Spokane River is showing off. Spring runoff, combined with recent rainy weather, has enhanced river flows, and the falls in the downtown are roaring.
By the end of the week, citizens will have a great new way to experience high water—from above! The new public plaza along Spokane Falls Boulevard, just north of the Downtown Library, will open on Friday, May 22.
Last fall, citizens got a glimpse of this extraordinary public plaza that features art representative of the importance of the Spokane Tribe to our region. The community gathered in October to celebrate the near completion of a $180 million program to keep overflows from combined wastewater and stormwater sewers out of the Spokane River.
These overflows happen when it rains a lot and the water overwhelms the pipes. The plaza sits over a 2.2 million gallon underground storage tank that holds that excess water until it can be sent to the wastewater treatment plant for processing.
The response to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community slowed down final work at the plaza, but now this pedestrian site is ready to accept visitors. People will need to observe social distancing in this space, wear their masks according to direction by the Spokane County Health Director, and avoid touching items like handrails.
But the view definitely will be worth the extra precautions!
The open plaza is just one more way our community has to enjoy our downtown and our river as we move toward greater reopening of retail shops, restaurants, and other businesses. We are looking forward to even more steps in this direction!