Barring storms, contractors see progress on Irish Hill, Division

Biloxi’s two infrastructure contractors – Oscar Renda and Hemphill – are heading in to the peak of afternoon thundershower season, but both expect rain delays to be minimal, barring any tropical storms.

In fact, both say, motorists, residents and businesses should  xpect to see major progress on Irish Hill Drive and Division Street.

Oscar Renda is handling infrastructure work – replacing water, sewer and storm drain lines – in the area from I-110 to Point Cadet north of the CSX railway, while Hemphill is working south of the railway from downtown to Seashore Methodist grounds.

“We’re installing the final storm drain lines on Division between Caillavet and Nixon,” Oscar Renda’s John Cowart says, “and we firmly expect to see Division Street paved from one end to the other well ahead of the October schedule we previously reported.”

Meanwhile, on Porter Avenue north and south of Circle Park, workers are expecting to have the road base in, with curbs and gutters to follow, Cowart said, which signals paving is in the offing.

Tim Murrah of Hemphill Construction says work along the south side of the project, along U.S. 90 is nearing completion – except for the area south of the Biloxi cemetery – and crews are continuing to install water lines on the northern border of the project, at Irish Hill Drive.

“We have to cross Irish Hill with water lines in about 10 places,” Murrah says, “and we’re planning cut into the roadway instead of tunneling underneath it, as we did at White and 90. This will reduce the timeframe on Irish Hill from months to weeks.”

Once work is completed on Irish Hill and south of the cemetery, Hemphill will continue the arduous task of replacing infrastructure on the myriad streets between the two east-west thoroughfares.

Adds Cowart: “We’re all working just as quickly as we can. We’re still installing drainage lines, which means we have some issues with drainage in heavy rains, but those are isolated cases now, and we try to mitigate them as quickly as we can.”
Video: See the June video of progress