Back Bay boardwalk moving forward

The city is a step closer to launching its next waterfront improvement project, a 1,700-foot concrete boardwalk, pavilion with lookouts and benches in the area along Back Bay, west of the Forrest Avenue pier and boat ramp.

The $3 million project, part of Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich’s initiative to make the Biloxi waterfront more inviting and accessible to residents and visitors, would be funded through the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006, or GOMESA, a revenue-sharing model for oil- and gas-producing gulf states.

“This new project is going to facilitate access to the waterfront,” Gilich said. “You look at it right now, and you can’t do anything with it right now. It’s just a pile of rocks. People should be able to enjoy that sandy bottom, just as they did growing up. These improvements are going to have the same look and feel as our recently completed project on Point Cadet, south of the bridge.”

The boardwalk, which would also connect to a city park on Kensington Drive, would vary in width from about five feet to 50 feet, depending on available right of way, and will not impact existing wetlands. The pavilion would be 24 feet by 24 feet.

Engineers from Seymour Engineering on Monday briefed Mayor Gilich on the design progress, with an eye to the project going out for bids next week and a bid opening by early August.

The project will be ADA-compliant, and, in fact, will include a hand rail installed along the north edge of the boardwalk. Solar lights will be used to illuminate the walking surface and under the pavilion.

The design firm, Seymour Engineering, also designed the city’s Popp’s Ferry Causeway Park, recently completed a master dredge plan for Biloxi and facilitated permitting approval for the Sherman Canaan Commercial Harbor Improvement Project. Seymour also designed the recently opened Riverside Park Pavilion and Kayak Launch facility in D’Iberville. 
See rendering and site plan
Gallery: Before, after and City Hall meeting
Video: Mayor Gilich on the city’s waterfront plans (2019 State of City)
Video: Mayor Gilich at Point Cadet (November 2018)

News & notes: Weather, virus update, Scrapin’, council replay

Weather: The National Weather Service forecasts rain and thunderstorms to continue through Thursday and has issued a Flash Flood Watch until 7 p.m. Thursday. To see the local conditions, click here.

Virus update: The spread of the coronavirus continues. The state on Tuesday reported 611 new positive tests in a single day, with 35 of those positives identified in Harrison County. Both numbers shatter previous one-day totals. To see the latest from the Mississippi State Department of Health, click here. To see the Biloxi guidelines and more, click here.

Scrapin’: Barricades have been positioned at intersections along U.S. 90 in Biloxi as police prepare for the Scrapin’ the Coast auto show, which is hosted by the Coast Coliseum Saturday and Sunday. Barricades are near U.S. 90 intersections in case police need to close turning lanes to keep traffic moving this weekend. Expect to see increased traffic on U.S. 90 beginning Friday afternoon.

Council replay: The city’s Information Systems Division is working out the video bugs in the recording of City Council meetings, but you can see a replay of the City Council meeting on Tuesday by clicking here.