Hemphill previews initial work on South Contract

More than two dozen people turned out at the Biloxi Visitors Center Wednesday night to hear more about the city’s plan to bring infrastructure work to south of the CSX railway beginning in January.

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich told residents, most of whom wanted to avoid the wholesale disruption caused by infrastructure north of the railway, that those same issues would be minimized in the upcoming 800-day, $23 million contract.

Another concern: What about fences and sidewalks? Will they be restored? Under the FEMA guidelines, the contract requires that fences and sidewalks be restored; however, fences that had been erected on city rights-of-way would have to be restored at the correct property line. The contractor also said he planned to communicate closely with residents when work was planned on their street.

“We plan to always have driveways open for property owners, and for emergency vehicles,” said Robert Waltman, one of the superintendents for contractor Hemphill Construction. “Our goal is to do the best we can to keep residents aware of our schedules, which are being finalized now.”

Added Mayor Gilich after the meeting: “Make no mistake, this is a big project, and there’s going to be inconveniences. But this contract that we have in place gives the city far more control than we have over the North Contract. You’re not going to see every street torn up at the same time.”
Video: Hemphill explains the initial phases of the South project
Photo gallery: Images from the meeting Wednesday
See the postcard with map and project background
City Desk: CAO Mike Leonard discusses the meeting and project
Video: See the latest on the North Contract