Oscar Renda hits paving milestone

Oscar Renda Contracting, the firm overseeing the lion’s share of infrastructure work now underway in East Biloxi, says a record 8,500 tons of asphalt was placed on the streets of East Biloxi this month.

Jennifer Matranga, Oscar Renda’s project manager, says the amount — which required over 566 dump truck loads of asphalt — is nearly double the highest amount of asphalt used in any month since the project began. Nearly every street on the eastern end of the project, all those east of Lee Street, has the final coat of asphalt.

Matranga and Hemphill Construction’s Jack Gratwick update work in this month’s infrastructure update video, a five-minute report published this week on the city’s YouTube channel.

“People are seeing more and more paving,” Matranga says of the project, which covers about 55 miles of streets north of the CSX railway. “We’re happy with the progress, but we are still aware that there are a few major thoroughfares that are in heavy construction. Parts of Reynoir, Croesus, Elder and Walker are seeing major storm drainage work, which was added due to design errors, and we had to pull off Benachi for a period to coordinate with the Keesler gate contractor on Forrest.”

Meantime, south of the CSX railway, Hemphill Construction is overseeing work on about eight miles of neighborhood streets stretching from Caillavet to Seashore Manor.

Hemphill’s Jack Gratwick said deep sewer work continues on Benachi south of Howard, with storm drainage crews also working on St. Francis, paving crews on Father Ryan and rock crews working on Azalea, preparing the street for pavement.

 Although the Hemphill work does not cover as broad an area as the Oscar Renda work, it does involve such major thoroughfares as Irish Hill, Porter, White Avenue and others.

Said Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich: “We’ve said all along that we were going to work to minimize the inconvenience and wholesale disruption in the work we’re doing south of the railway. But the fact is, anytime you do major work like this, there’s going to be inconvenience, in some cases major inconvenience. We’re continue to push for progress and picking up the pace.”
Video: A five-minute update on progress
See detailed maps of status of both projects

News & notes: Podcast, council, traffic

Podcast: Deputy Chief Nicholaus Geiser of the Biloxi Fire Training Division and the city’s Emergency Manager is the guest on this week’s City Desk podcast. To listen to the program, click here.

Council: Members of the Biloxi Council face a host of issues on Tuesday at Biloxi City Hall with a public hearing at 5 p.m. regarding a request for a zoning change for a neighborhood development followed by a regular scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. To see the agendas, click here.

Traffic:  To see the latest traffic advisories and road closures, click here