Gilich wants east Biloxi roads better maintained

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich has placed contractors on notice that roadways disrupted by the ongoing infrastructure project must be better maintained for the safety of motorists and the welfare of citizens.

Gilich sent a letter to Project Manager HNTB late Monday, directing it to enforce roadway maintenance requirements placed on contractors involved in the $355 million project. Biloxi is currently engaged in Year One of the “North Contract,” a three-year, $117 million project that involves replacing or upgrading infrastructure under streets between I-110 and Point Cadet, north of the CSX railway.  Oscar Renda Contracting is the contractor on the work, which is the largest public works contract the city has ever awarded. In several weeks, the city is expected to award a contract for similar infrastructure work south of the CSX railway in east Biloxi.

“For months now, residents and motorists have been unduly bothered by clouds of dirt rising from the streets being repaired,” stated Gilich’s letter to HNTB representative Marvin G. Dalla Rosa. “This is both a quality of life and a health issue. Complaints about damage to vehicles continue to rise also.”

Gilich also pointed out that contractors are required to provide a “smooth riding surface” during construction.

Citing increasing frustration with the traffic disruption, repeated delays and deteriorating road conditions, Mayor Gilich recently required his staff and legal counsel to review all contracts to determine who is responsible for maintaining navigability of roads during the years-long construction period.

“Enough is enough,” Gilich told his staff. “I understand that the infrastructure project is necessary and will disrupt much of our city for several more years, but that is no reason that our citizens should have to drive on bone jarring roads or endure the choking dust clouds that are covering many of our neighborhoods.”

In his letter, Gilich also directed HNTB to pursue “any and all remedies provided for in the contracts” in the event contractors refuse to abide by the terms of the agreements.

Further, Gilich instructed Acting City Engineer Christy LeBatard to send a letter to contractor Oscar Renda demanding immediate remediation of any non-compliance issues in the ongoing North Contract. LeBatard’s letter affirmed Oscar Renda’s obligation to use limestone or temporary asphalt to cover roads where work is not actively occurring.
See letters to Oscar Renda Contracting
See an overview of the infrastructure work