Expect busy roadways in Biloxi this weekend

John Miller has been in the Biloxi Police Department for 25 years, five years as chief, and he says this weekend has the potential to be one the busiest he’s ever seen.

“We’ve checked with the hotel-motel association, and we’re at 96 percent occupancy across the Coast,” Miller said. “We’re expecting big spring break crowds to begin driving in today and even more on Saturday, which generates plenty of traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian on the front beach. We’ve looked at the big-name groups coming to the Coliseum, and we’re aware of the number of other events going on at the same time, and when you put it all together, it’s going to be a busy weekend for Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”

Miller said the weather may also influence the size of the spring break crowds this weekend: An 80 percent chance of rain is forecast for Saturday, increasing to 100 percent Sunday.

Regardless, the message for residents and those traveling Biloxi roadways: Expect heavy, slow-moving traffic, particularly on U.S. 90 from Friday night and into Saturday night. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.

Among the events taking place this weekend: spring break events and concerts at the Coast Coliseum, concerts at the Beau Rivage, Hard Rock; a Jesus Christ Superstar production at the Saenger Theater, high school proms at the Biloxi Civic Center and Gruich Center, a food festival at Point Cadet Plaza, a wedding at the Biloxi Visitors Center, and spring break-related events planned at Biloxi and Gulfport nightclubs.

Spring break crowds should begin trickling to Biloxi today around noon and increasing throughout the day and evening. Expect to see heavy traffic along U.S. 90 Saturday afternoon and through the evening.

Police, meantime, will be employing their standard special-event operations plan, Miller said.

“Anytime we have a special event, whether it’s Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s, or Cruisin’ the Coast, we have extra officers on patrol,” Miller said. “We have a traffic plan where we may close left-hand turning lanes on U.S. 90 and limit access from neighborhood streets, just to keep traffic moving safely and efficiently.

“In addition, if the volume of traffic increases dramatically, we may vent some traffic, which means we steer it one way to alleviate congestion,” Miller said, noting that Biloxi Police will be working with the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, as well as police departments from Gulfport, Ocean Springs and D’Iberville.

Said Miller: “Our goal is the same as it has always been: for people to come to Biloxi and to have a great – and safe – time.”
Read Miller’s Tuesday briefing to the City Council
See the overall weekend entertainment lineup


‘Masterful’ Sal & Mookie’s to open Monday

By Jerry Creel, Communtiy Development Director

This week in economic development, the big news is that the construction of Sal and Mookie’s Restaurant on Lameuse Street is complete, and will be opening to the public on Monday at 11:00 a.m. The $1.5 million dollar project was masterfully constructed by Garlon Pemberton and is a welcome addition to downtown Biloxi.

In other news, we are finalizing approval for the site plan for the new Walmart Neighborhood Market on Popp’s Ferry Road. We have issued a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy for Phase 3 of the Arbor Landing Apartments also on Popp’s Ferry Road. Limited site work has begun on the Hyatt Place Hotel on Beach Boulevard, and the exterior walls are beginning to appear for the new St. Michael’s New Life Parish Center. Restoration continues on the former Casino Magic structure and single family residential construction continues to flourish in the areas north of I-10.


News and notes

City Council meeting: The next scheduled meeting of the Biloxi City Council is Tuesday, April 21 at 1:30 p.m.

Candidates forum: The Biloxi and Biloxi Bay Chambers of Commerce and the Coast Young Professionals will host a Mayor Candidates Forum on Thursday, April 23 at the Biloxi Civic Center. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the free program begins at 5:30 p.m. All 10 of the Biloxi mayoral candidates will be invited to the forum, where questions will be pre-determined by organizers. Time allotted for answers will be based on the number of participating candidates. For more on the election itself, click here.

DRC agenda: The agenda for next week’s Development Review Committee meeitng was unavailable at this writing, but to you can see the scope and breadth of development in Biloxi in the DRC meeting archiuves. To go there now, click here.