Here’s the latest on infrastructure work in east Biloxi

Sure, the Blue Angels are thundering overhead again today, rehearsing for the Blues Over Biloxi air show this weekend, but that doesn’t mean roadwork throughout the city comes to a halt. In fact, here’s the latest update:

Porter Avenue and connecting streets north of Division will see asphalt being poured in August, and during the month crews are expected to wrap up drainage work on Division, one of the final phases before asphalt can be applied.

Those are two of the highlights from Oscar Renda Contracting, the firm that is working on the 55 miles of infrastructure north of the CSX railway. The $135 million project currently has a December 2018 deadline.

Among the other milestones you can expect to see in August:

— Asphalt will be applied to Bradford and Haise streets and on Magnolia north of Division.

— Curbing will installed on Division from Caillavet to Reynoir.

— Work on Benachi north of the CSX crossing, delayed because of issues on Howard Avenue, will resume.

— Drainage structures will be installed on Hopkins Boulevard, which will allow limestone to be installed near the end of August, and sidewalks are expected to be completed at the northern end of Benachi.

Meanwhile, it was a mixed bag of news from Ricky Eiland of Hemphill Construction, the firm handling work south of the CSX Railway and north of U.S. 90, from downtown to Seashore Methodist.

Installation of a 16-inch water line on Irish Hill Drive, along CSX right of way, is complete, meaning traffic detours are history, for the moment. Hemphill had devoted all of its crews to the area to speed the Irish Hill work.

On Howard Avenue at Benachi, where workers are installing a sewer line 25 feet below ground, the deepest part of the entire project, workers encountered a bank of phone lines that were on no plans. Detours have been in place and will remain for about another month.

“These lines feed Keesler and most of Biloxi,” Eiland said, “so we had to make sure that we got with AT&T on how we could work around them.”

Hemphill continues to await an OK to proceed on work south of the Biloxi cemetery, where human remains were uncovered while a 16-inch water line was being installed. “That’s a huge impact and it’s impacting the whole job, forcing us to work in different locations,” Eiland said.

In August, residents and motorists can expect to see more of the same progress.

Added Eiland: “We’re continuing to come behind ourselves and put down a base coat of asphalt just as soon as we can. It will be a continuing cycle throughout the project, where it never gets any worse.”
Video: See the Oscar Renda progress video published today
Video: See the original Hemphill update