Crews to begin clearing, inspecting drainage, sewer lines

Residents and motorists in east Biloxi will see heavy trucks with large vacuum and video attachments clearing and examining underground drainage and sewer lines beginning in the next several days in a project that is expected to increase in size and scope over the next two to three months.

Suncoast Infrastructure, a city contractor, is expected to have two teams working in the areas of Oak and Myrtle streets, and after the first of the year the number of crews is expected to increase to at least four.

The work, which will last from about 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, is part of Restore Biloxi, the city’s infrastructure repair program, and is not expected to cause any interruptions in service to residents or businesses. However, the cleaning and debris removal work may cause temporary one-lane closures for the safety of the workers.

“Suncoast plans to increase the workforce as needed,” said City Engineer Damon Torricelli, the city’s liaison with HNTB, the firm hired to oversee and coordinate the massive Restore Biloxi work. ”They’d like to get this work completed in late February, but it’s all going to depend on what they find in these lines and how much of it they find.”

Once the cleaning and debris removal is complete, the city will be a step closer to beginning construction to repair water, sewer and drainage lines in several Katrina-damaged areas.

Restore Biloxi is a coordinated effort with the City of Biloxi, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal, state and local agencies.

The $355 million program, funded by FEMA, includes services necessary for the repair of more than 80 miles of sewer lines, more than 90 miles of water lines, more than 60 miles of storm drainage and more than 70 wastewater-pumping stations, also known as “lift stations.”

Construction is scheduled to begin in Spring 2010 and is expected to be completed in 2013.

For more information, visit You can also follow Restore Biloxi on Twitter @RestoreBiloxi, or on Facebook or call toll-free (866) 515-8905.