North contract: The end is near. Really.

It was a quiet-yet-significant milestone this week when Oscar Renda paving crews laid down the last stretch of base course of asphalt in the nearly 55 miles of infrastructure work north of the CSX railway.

The work was at the north end of Forrest Avenue, the several blocks between Bayview and the Keesler gate at Meadows Drive. Two other sections, outside Oscar Renda’s work remain: The unpaved section at Division Street is part of the new Keesler gate, and a block of Magnolia Street is a confounded by a gas line improperly installed by the gas company. Magnolia, however, is expected to be paved by Dec. 31.

Now, workers from Oscar Renda Contracting will turn to finishing up driveways, sidewalks and landscaping throughout the overall work area, and they’ll be videotaping sewer and drainage lines for final city inspections. Then, after all of the OKs, the final surface coat of asphalt will be applied to streets.

Meanwhile, South of the CSX railway

Portions of Howard Avenue remained closed as Hemphill Construction workers installed a 15-inch water line near Benachi Street.

The work is expected to move eastward to Hopkins Boulevard, with the southernmost lane closed to traffic. The Howard Avenue work is expected to be completed before Mardi Gras parades roll in February. Work also continues throughout the eight-miles of the project, from downtown Biloxi to Seashore Methodist.
See the new video of progress
See the detailed status maps

News and notes: Podcasts, council, holiday schedules

The issues: Hear the latest from City Hall this week in “City Desk,” a 15-minute podcast recorded Thursday at City Hall, by clicking here.

Holiday safety: People tend to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and, as a result, safety becomes an issue. Representatives of the Biloxi Police and Fire departments have some common-sense reminders for you in a bonus “City Desk” podcast. To listen to the 13-minute program recorded today at the Lopez-Quave Public Safety Center, click here.

City council: The Biloxi City Council will hold a special called meeting on Monday morning at 11 a.m. to discuss the recent allegations against city employee Cliff Kirkland. To see the agenda, click here.

Garbage service: The Harrison County Utility Authority says no garbage, recycling or trash will be collected Christmas Day.  Collection will be a day later than usual for the week.

Holiday office closures: All non-emergency municipal offices in Biloxi will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday observance of Christmas.