East Biloxi infrastructure work nears halfway point

The east Biloxi infrastructure work, which involves replacing 650,000 feet of water mains, sewer and storm drain lines under 55 miles of streets, is approaching the halfway point.

A report issued by the city’s Engineering Department last week showed that as of April 25 contractor Oscar Renda had completed 40 percent of the overall work, including having installed 86 percent of water lines, a third of the sewer lines, a quarter of the storm drain lines and 10 percent of the permanent asphalt.

The Engineering Department uses monthly pay requests from the contractor to gauge progress and bases the estimates on the amount of pipe installed.

And in a video update released by the city this week, Joel Murrah, who is overseeing the project for Oscar Renda Contracting, says that the new water system installed as part of the project is now being disinfected and will be energized in many areas, allowing contractors to remove the old water system and install sewer lines.

“We hope you now finally start to see progress and it will continue to pick up speed as we move forward,” Murrah says of the project, which began in August 2014 and currently has a contract deadline of June 2018.

Among the highlights in the five-minute video:

— Paving on Back Bay Boulevard between Oak and Boomtown Casino should begin in 60 to 90 days.

— Installation of a major sewer line on Division Street is making steady progress, which will allow drainage lines to be installed as well as see sewer and drainage installed on connecting streets.

— Paving in the areas of Lee and Holley street should begin by early fall.
See the five-minute progress video
See the latest neighborhood progress report


Weekend preview: Summertime dance, Juneteenth and more

Weekend events will kick off tonight with an “Aloha to Summertime” dance at the Donal M. Snyder Sr. Community Center.  The Parks and Recreation Department will present a free special needs party and dance this evening from 6 to 9 at the Community Center, 2520 Pass Road. Physically and mentally challenged children and adults and their parents are invited to wear Hawaiian attire and enjoy pizza and ice cream.

Meantime, over in the city’s John Henry Beck Park in east Biloxi, you’ll find the Juneteenth celebration taking placing through the day Saturday with games, contests, vendors and music. The park is at 671 Division St. and the celebration is free to attend.

Elsewhere this weekend: Beau Rivage hosts Terry Fator as well as the theatrical circus sensation BraVeau, IP hosts the Roots and Boots Tour, The Guess Who’s at the Golden Nugget, and the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center hosts the South Mississippi Summer Fair.
See the weekend’s overall lineup
See the Aloha to Summertime flyer
See the Juneteeth flyer


Face it: The week in photographs

Here’s a recap of some of the galleries the city’s 15,000 Facebook fans saw this week:

Fire chiefs opening ceremony: To see a host of images from the opening ceremony of the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs conference, a gathering of about 500 at the IP Tuesday, click here.

A Night at the Museum:  To see photographs from street party for the Southeastern fire chiefs, click here.

Hiller Park playground equipment: See photos of the removal of playground equipment at the west Biloxi park by clicking here.

Explorers: For a visit for the Southeastern Law Enforcement Explorers Academy, staged at Biloxi Junior High School, click here.

City Council: To see images from the City Council meeting from Tuesday, click here.



News and notes

Podcasting: This week’s City Desk podcast was recorded Wednesday night from the West End Hose Co. No. 3, the city’s fire museum. To listen to the program, click here.

Popp’s Ferry: Motorists traveling the Popp’s Ferry Road area where widening is underway will see lane shifts beginning Monday, June 27, signaling a major milestone in progress. No detours are planned, but traffic cones and barrels will mark shifts of travel lanes. The project, by the way, has a September deadline, but contractor Jimmy Lane expects to have work completed by then, weather permitting.

Irish Hill: CenterPoint Energy contractors installing a new gas line on Irish Hill Drive report that Irish Hill will be closed between St. Charles and St. George today through Tuesday, and the roadway will be closed from Jefferson Davis to St. George on Wednesday through next Saturday, June 25. Detours will be marked. To see the progress of streets work throughout the city, click here.

Public meetings: The next scheduled meeting of the Biloxi City Council is Tuesday, June 21. To see a list of all Biloxi municipal public meetings and available agendas, and how you can get involved in your city government, click here.