After two years of construction to complete a 2.7-mile stretch of First Street, city, state and construction company officials took to the streets Thursday to celebrate.
About 8 p.m., traffic was blocked on First Street north of the overpass. Then officials gathered along the cross walk and snipped the ceremonial ribbon signaling the end of construction.
Sayeed Afsar, an official of the major builder, A.S. Horner, Inc., joked he was going to retire in Tucumcari after the two-year project.
Mayor Mary Mayfield, who has taken much pride in the orange barrels as a symbol of economic progress as well as gross receipts taxes, said the project was well worth any inconveniences.
The state’s Department of Transportation District Four Engineer, Paul W. Gray, said the project which was estimated to cost $11.9 million came to $13.3 million.
And even though there were tough situations, Gray said city officials and residents demonstrated professionalism and patience.
Thursday's ribbon cutting ceremony was followed by a reception at the Northside Park.
The project extended from La Joya Avenue, south of I-40 to Maple Avenue, four blocks north of the Railroad Overpass. It also included underground utility improvements, curb and gutters, lighting and other improvements.