Holloway: On building bridges and roads, let’s be practical

Mayor A.J. Holloway said Tuesday afternoon that Biloxi’s recovery efforts, the overall quality of life of residents and the daily commutes of tens of thousands of motorists are all being negatively impacted by the delays in constructing a new bridge between Biloxi and Ocean Springs.

In a 1,000-word commentary released to media outlets and online, Holloway said it’s impractical to overlook billions of dollars in proposed growth and thousands of new jobs in east Biloxi in favor of possible shipbuilding concerns that could be years in the making, and it’s just as impractical to delay work on a new bridge in hopes of the CSX railway being relocated for a new east-west corridor.

Holloway said he feared that the bridge delays may be rooted in the fact that planners on the Governor’s Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal suggested re-routing the bridge.

Wrote Holloway: “The fact is — in a best-case, real-world scenario – relocating the railway and constructing a new east-west corridor is a 10- to 15-year endeavor. If there’s any secret deal in the works, if someone’s found massive funding, now’s the time to say. The people of Biloxi need – and deserve — to know.”

The mayor also noted motorists traveling to east Biloxi would continue to be limited to the I-110 bridge, which itself sustained storm damage and was rammed by a barge several years ago.

Holloway’s column, which was distributed to media outlets Tuesday, was scheduled to appear in the Sun Herald Wednesday morning. To read it online, click here.