East Biloxi streets: Drying out and moving forward

East Biloxi infrastructure workers, deluged by three inches of rain in a 24-hour period last week, manned extra water pumps until 10 o’clock Tuesday night and heavy equipment was grading Division and adjoining streets at daybreak this morning, dealing with what ended up being nearly an inch of rain, most falling late afternoon Tuesday.

Meantime, Oscar Renda Contracting crews also will be working a second weekend to help pour curbing for several neighborhood streets where paving will be applied next week. Among the streets are Holley and Bowen, north of Division; Roy, Wink and Garic, between Holley and Bowen; and old Bayview.

Crews this morning also removed plastic that had covered newly poured curbs on those streets and resumed installing more curbing. MDOT engineers also were monitoring work at Division Street and Hopkins Boulevard, where Oscar Renda is boring under the I-110 overpass to install major sewer and water lines.

Keesler’s weather office reported that more than nine-tenths of an inch of rain fell in the past 24 hours, mostly between 4 and 5:30 Tuesday afternoon.

“We are going to continue to do everything we can to keep this project moving forward while dealing with the weather and any design issues at the same time,” Project Superintendent John Cowart of Oscar Renda said.

“The good news is that people will see asphalt going down on a half-dozen streets by this time next week, weather permitting,” Cowart added. “We are making progress and that progress will continue.”
See photos of work this morning
See video of a street grader


East Biloxi news and notes

The timeline: So just what is the history of the east Biloxi infrastructure contract? Oscar Renda Contracting was given its Notice to Proceed, government-talk for “you can begin work,” on Aug. 4, 2014. The expected completion date was Aug. 8, 2017. Since the contract began, 35 change orders -adding additional work and time, and deemed necessary by city staff, FEMA and MEMA, and agreed to by the contractor – have added 320 days to the contract, bringing the expected completion date to June 24, 2018.

The cost: The original contract amount, the largest municipal public works contract in Biloxi’s history, was $118 million. Today, with approved change orders, the contract is $122 million.  The cost spent to date and the contract time are within seven percent of each other, which Oscar Renda Contracting is expected to make up as asphalt is applied.

The dust: The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality’s Office of Pollution Control, responding to complaints about dust in the infrastructure construction zone, found no permit violations after an inspection of the site on Oct. 12. To see the report, click here