Police: Expect heavy traffic through weekend

Biloxi Police Chief Bruce Dunagan says motorists should expect the usual holiday delays at the usual locations Friday and throughout the weekend, the traditional kickoff of the holiday shopping season.

“We’re certainly going to have more traffic officers on the roads this weekend,” Dunagan says, “and we’ll be paying particularly close attention to the areas where traffic usually bottlenecks, on Pass Road and Eisenhower, at Pass and Popp’s Ferry, and this year along the construction zones on Beach Boulevard.”

Police also will continue concentrating on enforcing speed limits on Popp’s Ferry Road, especially between Cedar Lake Road and the Sunkist subdivision. A portable radar unit has been positioned in the area to help motorists be aware of their speeds.

Dunagan asks motorists throughout the city to be patient, and to drive defensively and courteously.

“For the holiday shoppers,” he adds, “we’re asking them to remember the tips for safe shopping: Be aware of your surroundings. Place packages in your trunk, not on the car seat. Don’t wear loose-fitting jewelry in crowds. And contact the store security or manager or dial 911 if you have any concerns about your safety.”

Lighting project on U.S. 90 nearly complete

City contractors are expected to have center median lights on Beach Boulevard between Rodenberg Avenue and Beauvoir Road fully operational by Friday evening. In fact, more than half of the project area, between Rodenberg to just west of Treasure Bay casino, was illuminated Wednesday night.

The $569,000 project, which has involved replacing 76 storm-destroyed break-away poles, is being funded by the federal government, and is part of a city initiative that will see the installation of an unprecedented number of street lights on U.S. 90.

Lighting repairs are still in the works for two other areas – between Myrtle and Oak streets in east Biloxi, a city responsibility; and at I-110 and U.S. 90, where MDOT has a contract in place to repair lights as part of lighting repairs on the I-110 highrise.

Nearly 180 of the 250 or so pre-Katrina street lights on U.S. 90 in Biloxi were restored in December 2005, when the four-lane boulevard was fully re-opened to traffic. Since then, the city also installed street lighting in the area of U.S. 90 between White Avenue and St. George Street, where no center median lighting had ever existed.

Said Mayor A.J. Holloway: “When all is said and done, we’ll have all of Beach Bouelvard lit in Biloxi, and lit better than it ever had been. This is another one of those examples where we’re building back smarter and better than before.”

News and notes

Thanksgiving schedule: Non-emergency Biloxi municipal departments and divisions will be closed Thursday and Friday in observance of Thanksgiving.

Gaming numbers: The Biloxi casino industry, despite October gross gaming revenues being the lowest monthly figures in more than a year, is poised to have its biggest calendar year ever. Gaming revenue figures for October dropped 15 percent from September and were off 9 percent from October ’06. However, the Biloxi industry, with two months remaining in ‘07, is only $62.7 million away from its all-time high of $911 million in 2004. To see the monthly Biloxi numbers for yourself, click here.

Webcasting: Police Sgt. Jackie Rhodes offers advice for motorists and holiday shoppers in this week’s City Desk webcast. To hear the program, hosted by Biloxi-D’Iberville Press Editor Gene Coleman, click here.