Main, Division paving running ahead of schedule

It’s been months in the making, and longtime Main Street business owners were so excited to see asphalt going down on their street this morning that they couldn’t wait to have a ribbon-cutting ceremony. And Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich and Ward 2 Councilmember Felix O. Gines complied.

Inez Thomas of Inez’s Cafe and Tyrone Burton of Tyrone’s Barber & Beauty Shop joined Gilich, Gines and others to cut a ribbon to signal paving on Main Street, even as asphalt machines and steamrollers continued to move about in the background.

Workers from Warren Paving Co. were expected to have the stretch of Main from the CSX railway to Division Street completely blacktopped this afternoon, and then planned to begin applying asphalt on Division Street.

“The plan is to pave two travel lanes on Division Street between Lee and Caillavet streets,” Gilich said. “Then, we’re going to come back right away and pave Main Street all the way to the Bay, and begin moving forward on other streets.”

Months ago Gilich had tasked the city’s Public Works and Engineering departments with working with infrastructure contractor Oscar Renda to devise a matrix to apply asphalt to as many of the key thoroughfares as possible among the 55 miles of unpaved streets in east Biloxi.

“Our goal is to get the most out of $600,000 as we can,” Gilich said, “and to do it in a way that we won’t be paving a street that will be torn up in the next several weeks.”

Although the infrastructure project that covers the area north of the CSX railway from I-110 to Point Cadet won’t be finished for nearly a year, Gilich and Gines wanted temporary relief for motorists, residents and businesses.

Quipped Gilich as the ribbon was cut on Main Street: “This is a start, and it’s amazing what 450 tons of asphalt can do on a street.”
See photos from this morning’s work


News and notes:

Lifeguard class:  Individuals age 15 and older interested in lifeguarding can stop by the Biloxi Natatorium between 4 and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30 or Thursday, March 31 for a pre-test. Once passed, individuals may sign up for the classes April 4-10. To see requirements and details, click here.

Summer camp: Summer is approaching and the city will soon begin registration for its popular summer camp, officially known as the Summer Playground and Enrichment Program. Registration will be from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 9 at the Woolmarket Elementary gym for Woolmarket schools sites and on Saturday, April 16 at the Donal Snyder Community Center for Biloxi schools sites. For a listing of camp sites, fees and more, click here.