Rail crossings on agenda Tuesday

The Biloxi City Council on Tuesday is expected to formally approve an agreement that will see the Nixon and Delauney streets rail crossings closed in several weeks, but that didn’t keep an 18-wheeler from becoming snagged at the Nixon Street crossing this morning, blocks from the deadly Main Street train-bus collision a year ago.

Biloxi Police cited the driver of an 18-wheeler this morning for disregarding a traffic control device after his tractor-trailer became stuck on the CSX railway at Nixon Street. A wrecker was needed to move the vehicle.

Now that the city has constructed a new roadway alongside the CSX railway in East Biloxi, Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich on Tuesday is asking the council to formally enter into an agreement where, no later than Nov. 30, CSX will remove asphalt near the railway at Nixon and Delauney streets and the city will install barricades.

A second item involving rail crossing is also on the agenda Tuesday. The measure would formalize an agreement that would see a new crossing for the Popp’s Ferry Road extension to U.S. 90. In fact, adding new crossings at Popp’s Ferry and for the proposed extension of Pine Street to Back Bay Boulevard is what initially began rail-crossings talk.

CSX, which has long wanted to reduce the number of rail crossings in Biloxi – 29 in the city, with 21 of those in the two-mile stretch from Keesler to Point Cadet – requested that three crossings close for any new crossing.

A 2014 study had recommended the closure of six crossings – Nixon Street, Holley Street, Iroquois Street, Dorries Street, Querens Avenue, and Delauney Street. The City Council approved, provided parallel access roads were built to avoid creating dead-end streets. The closing of the Dorries crossing is expected to take place next year, once funding becomes available.

The issue of closing crossings and improving the safety of remaining crossings gained heightened awareness in March 2017, after a CSX freight train collided with a charter bus at the Main Street crossing, killing four of the 48 passengers aboard the charter bus, which had become snagged atop the tracks at the Main Street crossing.

In the wake of the tragedy, the city upgraded signage at crossings in Biloxi with low clearance warnings at all 29 crossings in the eight-mile stretch of railway running the length of the Biloxi peninsula. Additionally, the city installed signs that prohibit buses, RVs, and trucks from using crossings at Main, Lameuse, Porter, and Iberville.
See the proposed rail crossings
See the council agenda and supporting documents

Sports Hall of Fame welcomes new class — 2019

A crowd of more than 500 was on hand Sunday at the Biloxi Civic Center to see the city induct 13 new members into the Biloxi Sports Hall of Fame.

High school and college football coach John Williams and former Indians basketball star Seber Windham, who now coaches at Biloxi High School, were among an impressive group of 13 inductees, which includes three Biloxi Boxing Club legends, a 165-pound walk-on center on the 1949 LSU Sugar Bowl team, two of the area’s best-ever high school baseball pitchers and a former Biloxi Dodgers pitcher who has distinguished himself over 40 years of umpiring high school softball.

The Class of 2019: 
Gallery: Dozens of images from Sunday
See the program

News & notes: Weekly report, Biloxi Police, Shuckers, weather

The week that was: Last week, the Fire Department answered 143 calls for service, including 105 medical emergencies and five fires; the Police Department handled 2,079 calls for service; the Community Development Department issued 48 building permits with a construction valuation of nearly $515,000;  and the Engineering Department continued to progress on projects throughout the city.  To see the reports covering last week, click here. 

Labor Day Blitz: The Biloxi Police Department has increased its law enforcement presence along various roadways in Biloxi as part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign leading up to the Labor Day holiday. To see the BPD’s press release, click here.

Barks and Brews: The Biloxi Shuckers continue their homestand with the Mississippi Braves at MGM Park tonight. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. and its Barks and Brews night so fans can bring their dogs! To visit the Shuckers website, click here.

Weather: Rain is predicted for the next couple of days. To see the weather forecast, click here. To see a Facebook post about this morning’s heavy rainfall, click here.