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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.

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.