Crews working to ready 90 in time for Cruisers

Mississippi Power Co. workers are working to repair damaged street lights on U.S. 90 in time for Cruisin’ the Coast, and this evening are checking a several-block section in west Biloxi where city contractors today repaired underground wiring.

Thousands of classic car owners from across the country are expected to motor their polished and pampered vehicles back and forth on U.S. 90 for 10 days beginning Sunday for Cruisin’ the Coast, the 16th annual presentation of the event billed as “America’s largest block party.” Typically, hundreds of spectators line the highway each night to watch the procession.

Biloxi Public Works crews have spent several days positioning barricades and temporary fencing along areas of U.S. 90 to safely separate motorists and spectators. State and local workers have trimmed grass in medians and worked to remove sand from the highway.

Under an agreement with the city, Mississippi Power maintains more than 300 poles and more than 600 lights on U.S. 90, mostly in the center median of the 8.2-mile stretch of the highway in Biloxi. Most of the lights are working, but some sustained storm damage.

“A number were damaged by the saltwater intrusion from Hurricane Isaac,” Mayor A.J. Holloway said, “and some of the hardware and underground wiring was damaged during the debris removal efforts immediately after the storm. Our maintenance agreement involves the lights themselves and the sensors above each light. We’ve had other contractors repairing the wiring, and now the power company is doing its part.”

Holloway said the section of underground wiring between Rodenburg Avenue and Camelia Street was repaired today, and the power company crews are checking those lights this evening to ensure they were working properly.

“We’re asking motorists to please be careful over the next several days while crews are working on the lighting on U.S. 90,” the mayor said. “We’re also asking people to remember that some street lights still may not be working, so please be extra careful. We know there’s going to be heavy traffic – both vehicular and pedestrian – and we appreciate the efforts that Mississippi Power is making to help get the lights repaired. We’re also asking the public to do its part. Drive defensively.”

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