City completes First Street drainage project

Before: Parts of First Street were submerged after TS Isidore in 2001.

Today: First Street has been reconstructed with new drain lines and

City workers today began drainage projects on Maple and Pine streets north of the Grand Casino parking garage at Point Cadet, but the good news is that work has been completed on a three-year, $2.5 million project on nearby First Street, where standing rainwater often made the street impassable and threatened a nearby senior citizens center.

The project involved installing three-foot by five-foot drainage lines from First Street north of the parking garage, south on Pine Street, across U.S. 90 and under the Grand parking garage south of the highway, where the huge lines empty in the Mississippi Sound.

“This has been quite a time-consuming and expensive endeavor,” Mayor A.J. Holloway said, “but this work is going to resolve a flooding problem that has persisted for decades.”

The project was funded by the city, Grand Casino and the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

Work actually began three years ago, before Grand Casino constructed its parking garage south of U.S. 90. City contractors installed huge drainage lines under the garage, and in Phase II of the project two years ago diverted lanes of traffic on U.S. 90 while a 14-foot trench was dug across the highway to extend the drainage lines.

The final phase of the project, which extended the lines up Pine Street and westward on First Street, was completed a few days ago, just in time for city crews today to begin adding more lines on Maple and Pine streets.

“We appreciate the patience and cooperation of those who travel First and Pine Streets,” Holloway said. “Now, we’re in a much better position to move stormwater away from the residences and businesses, and make this a much safer area.”

Today, the city’s inhouse construction crews began work to installing a new 18-inch drainage line on Maple, which will connect to the work on First Street and run north all the way to Third Street. The work is expected to be completed in several weeks.