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Public support leads WAAP project team to OK 'Adams Crossing' as bridge name

       Project team members in the Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP) have previously said a study of Colorado Avenue west of 31st Street was meant to focus on engineering needs, not social issues.

An undated postcard for the Beverly Hills Lodge (still in existence as the Beverly Hills Motel, 6 El Paso Blvd.) advertised it as located in "Adams Crossing, Colo Spgs." Interest in the historical reach of Adams Crossing led to a consensus in favor of naming the new bridge by that name where Colorado Avenue crosses Fountain Creek at Columbia Road.
Courtesy of Tom Daniels and the Old Colorado City Historical Society
       But the group made an exception at the public meeting April 16, after a consensus of attendees favored giving the name of “Adams Crossing” to the new bridge over Fountain Creek at Columbia Road that will be a featured part of the estimated $16 million project along Colorado Avenue west of 31st Street. (See general meeting story.)
       Among those urging this decision, based on the positive historical activity at that location, were long-time Westside civic leader Dave Hughes, neighborhood leader Welling Clark and County Commissioner Sallie Clark.
       The name “Adams” comes from Charles Adams, a prominent citizen in the late
A 1917 Colorado Springs map identifies "Adams Crossing" as the location of planned water-main work. The document was given to the Old Colorado City Historical Society by Don Moon, a retired Colorado Springs Utilities employee. The map also shows where the Denver & Rio Grande railroad crosses Colorado Avenue (then known as the "Manitou Road") just east of the road's concrete bridge over Fountain Creek. The term "wooden crossing" means that the tracks crossing the road were set in wood frames (rubber is used for the same purpose in modern times, according to historian Mel McFarland.) "Jasper St." has since been renamed Columbia Road. Not shown on the map is the streetcar line that followed the avenue/Manitou Road going west as far as Columbia/Jasper, then paralleled the D&RG west of there (along the route now used by the Midland Trail).
Courtesy of Tom Daniels and the Old Colorado City Historical Society
1800s who lived close by. For decades that followed, the name of “Adams Crossing” was not only popularly used by area residents but appeared on official maps, postcards and as the name of a grocery store at that corner. Adding to the “crossing” element, the location in that era also saw the crossing of both a railroad and streetcar line, whose right of way west of Columbia is now used by the Midland Trail.
       Backing up his call for action, Hughes asked the 50-some people in the meeting at the Westside Community Center to raise their hands if they were in favor. Most did. Sallie Clark followed this by asking if any objected. None did.
       Also expressing support was County Engineer Andre Brackin, who has the dual role of project manager.
       Lead consultant Steve Murray said he too was convinced and even displayed a power-point slide for the audience identifying the bridge as the “Adams Crossing Bridge.”
       With the naming decision, project team members made it clear that the intent is to identify the bridge with a marking of some kind saying “Adams Crossing,” along with some explanation of the local history.
       City Parks Development Manager Chris Lieber added that he hopes to get more history in general into the signage along the Midland Trail through the Westside.
       Tim Seibert of NES, a private planning firm contracting with the project team, said he would work historical aspects into the bridge design as much as possible.
       “Please know that it's on its way,” Seibert told the audience.
       The meeting discussion arose in response to a recent article in the Westside Pioneer online publication, which included interviews with Westside historians and research into the history of Adams, his lasting impact on that area and new findings on the actual location of his house. See the Pioneer story.
       At Murray's request, Pioneer Editor Kenyon Jordan spoke on the subject early in the meeting. Hughes and the others followed that up with their comments.
       The WAAP project team consists of engineers from three local governments (El Paso County, Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs) with a contracted consultant and its subconsultants. Planning started in 2012. The WAAP goal is to develop a design that can allow construction to start in 2015, using funds approved by voters from the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority as well as a grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 4/17/14; Projects: No Man's Land)

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