Holloway outlines slate of traffic-improvement work

Mayor A.J. Holloway this morning told a Biloxi Chamber of Commerce audience that the city has resumed work on a host of traffic-improvement projects that were in the works before Hurricane Katrina.

Holloway, speaking to a chamber “Breakfast with the Mayor” gathering at the IP Casino Resort Spa, said work on Caillavet Street is expected to be completed around May 1, weather permitting, and the new four-lane boulevard is expected to be “the crown jewel of redevelopment projects.” The mayor added that since the project is under budget the city also would pave the southern portion of Caillavet to U.S. 90.

In addition to more than $3 million in storm-repair work now underway and involving 680 streets throughout the city, the mayor outlined a host of other projects.

“To give you an idea of the amount of work,” he said to the audience of about 100 business leaders, “over the past 10 years, we spent an average of $16.1 million each year on capital projects. Right now, the capital projects budget is $53 million, with another $60 million working its way through the FEMA pipeline.”

Among the projects outlined:

• Property acquisition has begun on a project to widen the final section of Popp’s Ferry Road, between Cedar Lake Road and the D’Iberville city limits. Engineering and design of the new five-lane roadway — four lanes of traffic and a center turning lane — is already completed. Construction will begin as soon as property is acquired. Initial budget for this work is $250,000.

• Engineering and design work will soon be underway on projects to improve Brodie and Brashier roads. On Brodie, the city hopes to build two lanes “maybe three if we can get the right of way, and on Brashier, we’ll have two 12-foot wide lanes and we’ll try to do turning lanes as right of way allows.” The city has budgeted $2.75 million for the Brodie and Brashier work.

• Engineering and design work also are underway on the section of Howard Avenue from MLK Boulevard to Myrtle Street. Budget is $325,000 for the design work. Initial construction would entail new drainage and water lines on an improved street that will use existing rights of way between MLK and Keller Avenue.

• Widening of Oaklawn Drive, the major access roadway for the Eagle Point community, is underway and expected to be completed soon. The work has a budget of $650,000.

• Drainage repairs to Balmoral Drive in the Edgewater Park subdivision are scheduled to begin in the next few days and should be completed within 45 days of the start of work. Budget is $350,000.

Traffic Update online

The Public Works Department each weekday issues an online Traffic Update about road construction underway throughout the city. It’s accessible through a link at the top of the city web site. To see today’s report, click here. (Web cams at U.S. 90 and I-110 have been out of service since Katrina.)