Oscar Renda: Dry weather has meant good progress

Oscar Renda Contracting, the firm overseeing the 55 miles of infrastructure work in east Biloxi north of the CSX railway, is aiming to have Division Street paved from one end to the other in October.

Superintendent John Cowart made the announcement this week after noting weather and additional workers have helped the project move forward.

“This time last year, our workers and everyone in east Biloxi endured record-setting amounts of rainfall, which causes two and three days of catch up,” Cowart said. “This year, we’ve been able to pick up the pace for two reasons: First, we’ve had dry weather, and second we’ve added a subcontractor and we’re looking to add another one.

“We have more than 20 crews out there – more than 185 workers – on this job, and they’re working six days a week, as quickly and as safely as we can.”

Work on parts of Division Street, which runs the length of the project, have been delayed by nine months until a gas line could be relocated, is now moving forward. In fact, Cowart said that by the end of June new sewer lines, as deep as 30 feet in some areas, will be installed and operational, which will allow workers to begin installing drainage lines and curbing.

“With the progress we’re seeing, we expecting to have a base coat of asphalt on Division Street, from one end to the other, in October,” Cowart said. “That also means progress will pick up on the connecting streets, which had been delayed while we waited for the gas line to be moved.”

Also by the end of June, Cowart said, new water should be active across the entire project. Pressure testing and chlorinating is currently underway in the Circle Park area.

Initial coats of asphalt also are expected to be applied on Couevas between Percy and Division; on Anglada, Fayard and Reynoir south of Division, Hill Street and Lee Street from Suarez to Back Bay, as well as on Crescent and the remaining sections of Dr. Gilbert R. Mason Sr. Drive and Balboa.
Video: See the latest update on North Contract work
City Desk: Road work, events of note and more


News and notes: Preservation, traffic, City Desk

Preservation today: Don’t forget about today’s installment of Preservation in May, the free series running through the month. Today’s program, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Biloxi Visitors Center, will focus on potential Civil Rights sites in Mississippi. Those attending the session will learn about the process and can share their insights on sites and places. To read more about Preservation in May, click here.

Traffic accident: Thousands of motorists heard the word on inoperative traffic signals at Veterans Avenue and Pass Road today and knew to avoid the area, thanks to the city’s B-Alert text messages. Tuesday and Wednesday, the same audience had a head’s up on the traffic snarls on the Popp’s Ferry bridge because of unscheduled repair work. Are you in the know? Text BILOXI to 888777 for info on the go. To see examples of recent texts, click here.

City Desk: Weather and construction were among the varied topics of discussion in this week’s installment of the City Desk Podcast recorded earlier today at Biloxi City Hall.  To listen to the podcast, click here.