Hemphill: The challenging part is yet to come

Motorists along U.S. 90 can see progress being made on installing a 16-inch water line along the north side of the highway, between downtown at Seashore Methodist, but Hemphill Construction says the most challenging portions of the work are yet to come.

The work is part of an 800-day, $23 million project to see new water, sewer and drainage installed in an area from downtown Biloxi to Seashore Methodist, south of the CSX Railway.

Workers are currently installing the water line along the north side of U.S. 90, with limited lane closures, and water and sewer lines will be installed on north and south streets connecting U.S. 90 and Irish Hill Drive. In fact, water and sewer lines are already being installed on north-south streets on the eastern end of the project, with pipes already pre-positioned along Irish Hill Drive, signaling work along that major east-west corridor.

Most of the work along Irish Hill, not unlike that on U.S. 90, will have limited lane closures.

“Am I pleased with the progress?” declared Hemphill Superintendent Tim Murrah. “I’m never pleased. You always want more, but we’re doing this job in a different way. We’re finishing as we go, which makes it better for the residents and businesses. In fact, if you look at some of the areas on Highway 90 where we installed the water line, we already have grass growing.

“We’re trying to do the most work with the least interruption.”

However, that’s going to be difficult, Murrah admits, as the project progresses.

“On Howard Avenue and Benachi, we’re going to be laying pipe that’s 20-feet deep in a limited amount of right away,” Murrah said, “We’re asking residents to just bear with us.”

Hemphill has five five-member crews on the job each weekday, and some minor-impact work may be done on Saturdays from time to time, Murrah said.
Video: See a preview of the Hemphill work
Map See the Hemphill work area


Blessing of the Fleet events in offing

The 89th annual Blessing of the Fleet and Shrimp Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday, June 2 and 3 but organizers have announced a number of related events are coming up.

The lineup:

–Shrimp Queen Contestants’ photo session, Wednesday, May 16, 4 p.m., Biloxi Visitors Center, 1050 Beach Blvd.

— Unveiling of Blessing of the Fleet Poster Wednesday, May 16, 5:30 p.m., Biloxi Visitors Center, 1050 Beach Blvd.

— Mass of the Blessing, Saturday, June 2, 4 p.m., St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 177 1st St.

— Fais Do-Do and Coronation of the Shrimp King and Queen, Saturday, June 2, noon to 10 p.m., Point Cadet Pavilion, 121 Cadet St.

–Shrimp-N-Boots Glow Run, 5K/1-Mile, Saturday, June 2, 7 p.m. fun run and 7:30 p.m. 5K

Blessing of the Fleet – Sunday, June 3, 2 p.m., in channel east of Biloxi Small Craft Harbor.
See the festival flyer
See the run flyer


News and notes: Preservation event, nominations; Special Olympics

Preservation in May: The second event of the 2018 Preservation in May, Mississippi Civil Rights Sites Special Resource Study Open house, will take place on Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Biloxi Visitors Center.  The event is free.  To see the complete schedule of Preservation in May events, click here.

Preservation nominations:  The deadline for the 2018 Biloxi Preservation Awards nominations is Friday.  To nominate an individual, organization or business for actively working to preserve Biloxi’s historic buildings or those working to preserve, promote or expand access to local historic resource, download the application by clicking here.

Special Olympics:  The 2018 summer games of the Special Olympics Mississippi will take place Friday through Sunday along the Mississippi Gulf Coast with Keesler Air Force Base again serving as host for the event.  To see more about the Mississippi Special Olympics, click here