From "No Man's Land," to the Westside Avenue Action Project, to Adams Crossing has been the evolution of a 1.5-mile stretch along Colorado Avenue between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs.
On Friday, nearly three years after construction began in January 2017, officials cut a ribbon to symbolize the official end of the improvement project.
The event was held along a redirected section of Fountain Creek, near the new Adams Crossing Bridge at the intersection of Colorado Avenue and Columbia Road.
The project cost nearly $31 million and was a joint effort involving Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, El Paso County and numerous governmental and community planning groups.
The area was called "No Man's Land" because it was outside city and county boundaries and had deteriorated over the past several decades. It's now within the county's jurisdiction.
Officials say the project will provide a natural and scenic connection between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs -- a connection that is more import with recent growth in tourism and local population.
The project eliminates a lane of traffic in each direction but adds bike lanes, sidewalks, curbs, gutters, street lights and landscaping.
"It's going to be a safer way to travel for vehicles, bikes and pedestrians," said Stan VanderWerf, an El Paso County Commissioner whose district includes the project. "We think it will eventually bring more economic development."
Many merchants along the stretch said they lost business for three summers and two Christmas holidays but hope the lost business and customers will eventually return.
The bridge was rebuilt for better flood control and overhead power lines were placed underground.
Obstacles such as removing large boulders, old utility lines, a former railroad line and hundreds of old tires caused several delays in the project.
The project manager said work is "98% complete" with some finishing touches to be applied through next spring.
Officials also have given the area its original name of Adams Crossing, in honor of Gen. Charles Adams, a key local figure during the late 1800s who lived there.