Popp’s Ferry gets a touch of green

The pedestrian-friendly streetscape along Popp’s Ferry Road south of the Popp’s Ferry Road bridge is turning greener these days, thanks to an enhancement project that is seeing the planting of 50 five- and six-foot tall Nellie R. Stevens Holly trees along a new sidewalk that stretches from Pass Road to Atkinson Road.

The daylong task was expected to be completed this afternoon, weather permitting.

City arborist Eric Nolan reports that the Nellie R. Stevens variety of holly tree was chosen because the trees are hardy throughout the state, perform well in full sun, and at maturity will provide “an aesthetically pleasing, pyramid shape that will reach a height of 14-feet with an 8-foot spread and remain green throughout the year.”

The planting, which cost about $5,000, is being funded by a traffic enhancement grant initiative through the Mississippi Department of Transportation, with Gulf Regional Planning Commission supervising the planting. Also having a hand in the project is the Urban Youth Corps.

The work is taking place near the recently completed upgrade of the intersection at Popp’s Ferry and Atkinson roads. That $277,000 project, for which Gulf Regional helped obtain federal matching funds for the city, included the installation of new cantilevered traffic signals, the addition of a turning lane on Atkinson Road and a sidewalk linking the Cedar Popp’s Shopping Center and Atkinson Road.

“This is going to significantly improve the streetscape south of the bridge, and we’re looking to do similar plantings along the new Popp’s Ferry Road north of the bridge,” Mayor A.J. Holloway said. “From Cedar Lake Road to Pass Road, you’re seeing a completely new Popp’s Ferry Road – the new and wider roadway, new businesses opening, and, now, a greener streetscape. It’s the total package, and I appreciate the assistance of Gulf Regional, MDOT and our other partners on the current work.”

To see photos of the planting, click here.