Paving expected on Bayview by Dec. 15, on Oak by mid-January

The initial coat of pavement should be applied on Bayview Avenue from Caillavet to past Boomtown Casino by Dec. 15, and all of Oak Street north of the CSX Railway should be paved by mid-January, according to the construction company working on Biloxi’s infrastructure repair and replacement program.

And while trenches as deep as 18 to 23 feet will be cut on Division Street in the next several weeks to install sewer lines, you’ll see pavement going in on the street by the end of January.

Tony Morrow, project manager for the firm Oscar Renda Contracting, made the announcements this morning in a taping of “City Desk,” the city’s weekly public affairs podcast. He also cautioned that inclement weather could impact the schedule.

Oscar Renda was awarded a $117 million, federally funded contract by the city in May 2014 to repair or replace the storm-damaged infrastructure in east Biloxi. The project, part of a massive $355 million project, covers the area from east of I-110 to Point Cadet, north of the CSX railway.

The majority of the streets in the project area have been reduced to dirt while as many as 135 construction workers replace storm drains, sewer and water lines before restoring sidewalks and curbs.

Morrow said the process by which the infrastructure is being replaced or restored is dictated by the existing location of sewer pump stations, which are primarily in low-lying areas, and pump sewage to the Keegan’s Bayou Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“The reason we can’t go street-by-street is that we have to work away from those pump stations,” Morrow said, “and your sewer lines and water mains coming from the water towers all appear, if you were to see an overhead  photo, as a spider web. So, all of those interconnect. Each sewer manhole flows to the next sewer manhole, and basically that’s why we have to continuously keep streets torn up as opposed to doing just one street at a time.”

The situation in east Biloxi, where water and sewer lines were installed decades ago and have been patched or partially replaced repeatedly over the years, is particularly challenging because the existing plans don’t always match what’s actually under the street.

Construction workers, for instance, ran into cases where “things existing in the ground didn’t allow us to follow the plan that was laid out.”

Added Morrow: “It’s been amazing, some of the things that we’ve encountered. Some are interesting, some are frustrating.”
Listen to the City Desk program
Infrastructure work: the big poicture