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Laura Seitz, Deseret News
River trail murals are unveiled on Columbia Lane in Provo on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. The murals were a response from the community to fight the constant barrage of graffiti in the city.

PROVO — Tunnel walls that have served as a makeshift canvas for many a graffiti artist were turned into works of art to beautify the community and prevent crime along the Provo River Trail.

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City officials, with the funding help of the North Park Neighborhood Matching Grant, commissioned local illustrator Jess Smart Smiley, to makeover two tunnels located 10 minutes apart from each other — at Columbia Lane and 820 N. 850 West.

Friends and family of Smiley, as well as police department and neighborhood volunteers, worked more than 2 ½ weeks to clean, prime and paint the cement surfaces with bright colors and whimsical designs, making the tunnels "brighter and more colorful places," Smiley said.

"It's a great feeling to be able to contribute to my hometown in such a fun and positive way," he said.