Frustration continues at Popp’s Ferry Bridge

Wow, so what’s up with this Popp’s Ferry Bridge, besides the span? The bridge has had four traffic-detouring issues in the past nine days, frustrating many of the 20,000 motorists who travel the West Biloxi roadway on an average day.

The bridge caused traffic detours in two instances today, once for a span stuck in the up position for 90 minutes at lunchtime and once for 10 minutes with traffic bars stuck in the down position this afternoon.

The issues with the 41-year-old bridge were amplified weeks ago when, as part of a $1.3 million project to install a new underwater electrical cable and other components to power the bridge, the bridge’s operating system was converted from a decades-old analog system to the current digital standards.

“The digital system is far more sensitive to any electrical issues,” said City Engineer Christy LeBatard, “and that’s what you’re seeing. What are we doing about it? We met on Monday with our engineers and we’re awaiting a change order from MDOT, which funded the original project, to upgrade the necessary electrical components.”

The bridge, a major north-south corridor in West Biloxi, is a three-quarter-mile, two-lane low-level bridge with a span. It’s used by West Biloxi residents living north and south of the Bay and, as part of Popp’s Ferry Road, connects I-10 at Cedar Lake Road to U.S. 90 via Beauvoir Road.

For years, the city and motorists have sought funding for a new, higher, more dependable bridge, and some design work has been done, and a federally-required environmental assessement has been completed. However, construction and driving on a new bridge are still years away. The current bridge was built in 1978 and was transferred to the City of Biloxi some 20 years later.
See the status of efforts for a new bridge
Back in time: See the 2004 pitch for a new bridge

News & notes: Weekly report, swimming lessons

The week that was: Last week, the Fire Department answered 143 calls for service, including 93 medical emergencies and six fires; the Police Department handled 1,810 calls for service; the Community Development Department issued 93 building permits with a construction valuation of more than $7 million; and the Engineering Department continued to progress on projects throughout the city.  To see the reports covering last week, click here

Fall swimming lessons: The Biloxi Aquatics Division, this morning, begin accepting registration for its fall swimming lessons. Registration is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Biloxi Natatorium. For fees and lesson dates, click here.