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Aug. 12, 2013: – Avista launches a three-month project today to improve its Upper Falls Powerhouse and the City of Spokane’s Theme Stream Bridge on the west edge of Riverfront Park. The project will include repainting the powerhouse in its original colors, rebuilding the bridge and removing non-native vegetation to enhance the view of the Spokane River’s upper falls, which Avista restored two years ago.
The project is part of an effort to give visitors to the falls improved views of the river and shoreline area. Avista is coordinating with the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department on the project to post informative signs to let park users know more about the project.
The repainting includes the Upper Falls Powerhouse, the seawall at the base of the building and railings around the building with colors that are consistent with the plant’s 1920s-era origin. The powerhouse is an important part of the viewscape that residents and visitors see from various locations within Riverfront Park and around downtown.
Another aspect of the project is rebuilding the bridge over the lower portion of the Theme Stream, constructed as an ornamental feature for the 1974 Expo World’s Fair. Located just off Post Street in Riverfront Park, the bridge is being reconstructed to handle heavier vehicle loads. The bridge is an important access point to Riverfront Park and is also used for larger trucks and equipment to access the powerhouse. As a part of this work, old abandoned concrete ducts located between the road and the river that led to the powerhouse are being removed.
As part of Avista’s commitment to environmental stewardship of the river, the company is working with Spokane’s Urban Forester to remove non-native vegetation that will help merge the original development of the area with the indigenous natural setting.
During the project, the former YMCA parking lots in Riverfront Park near the Upper Falls Powerhouse and east of the Theme Stream Bridge will be affected. The lower lot near the powerhouse will be closed for the duration of the project while the upper lot to the south will be closed Sept. 3 through Sept. 30 only. The main parking lot located immediately east of Post Street will remain open through the project.
The project is scheduled to begin today and run through November 2013 in advance of Avista’s 125th Anniversary and the 40th Anniversary of the Expo World’s Fair in Riverfront Park.
The Upper Falls Powerhouse restorative painting and Theme Stream Bridge reconstruction are among several projects Avista has underway currently in Riverfront Park to enhance the connections through the park from the upper falls to the lower falls of the Spokane River. Updates to Avista-owned Huntington Park will enhance river views and access on the south side of the Spokane River between Post and Monroe streets. The new City Hall Plaza, a gift to the City of Spokane from shareholders of Avista Corp., will create open-air space for gatherings and river viewing.
About Avista Utilities
Avista Utilities is involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy. We provide energy services and electricity to 362,000 customers and natural gas to 322,000 customers in a service territory that covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.5 million. Avista Utilities is an operating division of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA). For more information, please visit www.avistautilities.com.
The Avista logo is a trademark of Avista Corporation.
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