City to re-bid next phase of infrastructure work

The city must re-bid the multi-million-dollar project to rebuild and repair infrastructure work south of CSX railway because a Harrison County judge has found there was not substantial evidence to accept the bid and award a contract to Hemphill Construction.

The city in January had rejected an apparent low bid from Oscar Renda of $82.9 million in favor of a Hemphill Construction for $93.7 million because Oscar Renda failed to include state-required documents as part of its bid.

However, Circuit Court Judge Lisa Dodson, overseeing an appeal filed by Oscar Renda, ruled Friday that the city’s actions in accepting the Hemphill bid were not supported by substantial evidence, and therefore, the contract with Hemphill should be set aside.

The re-bidding of the South Contract, which covers infrastructure work south of the CSX railway from Point Cadet to west of I-110, will allow the city to exercise more care with specifications intended to minimize disruptions, said Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich, who took office in May 2015, months after the proposed contract had been written.

“We’ve all seen what happened with the massive disruption in the east Biloxi north of the CSX railway,” Gilich said. “Re-bidding of this contract means two things. First, the North Contract will be winding down as we enter this South Contract, and second, we’ll be able to handle the work more precisely. We will not see every road in east Biloxi torn up at the same time.”
See a quick video overview of overall project


Vieux Marche Street Fair is this weekend

There’s a new downtown street fair this weekend in the Vieux Marche that will combine daytime arts and crafts, live music and food booths with a nighttime cast party for “Shrek the Musical.”

The Vieux Marche Street Fair takes place Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. with daytime activities, and a cast party for “Shrek the Musical,” running from 7 p.m. until. The outdoor event will take place on Howard Avenue, between Reynoir and Lameuse streets, in the heart of the downtown area.

Promoter Jourdan Hartshorn is working with downtown nightclub owners and restaurants and producers of “Shrek the musical,” which runs later this month at the Saenger Theater.

“The whole purpose is to promote the downtown area,” said Hartshorn, who also serves as community relations manager for Papa John’s. “We’re going to have bouncy houses for kids, the Shuckers mascot Schooner will be on hand for pictures, and the famous local popsicle producers, Pop Brothers, will be on hand with their unique popsicles.”

Want to be a part of it? Those interested in booth space can make reservations by calling Hartshorn at 228-236-7233.