Significant road projects breaking ground in Biloxi

Amid talk of construction management, funding for the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, east Biloxi revitalization and other issues, significant progress is being made on a number of city road projects, Mayor A.J. Holloway told a civic group Wednesday.

Holloway updated the Edgewater Rotary Club on the status of several million dollars worth of projects throughout the city, and noted that he and the City Council had been keeping issues in focus.

“Despite all of the talk about these other projects,” Holloway said, “we’re still keeping our eye on the ball – and that’s transportation, moving traffic and improving streets and drainage.”

Holloway outlined projects from Point Cadet, Back Bay and west Biloxi to Sunkist, Popp’s Ferry and in Woolmarket.

Of note, the project to construct a new Bayview Avenue between Oak Street and Caillavet Street will go out for bids this month, and the mayor said it will be the first to be under the city’s construction-management program.

“This project will be fast tracked,” Holloway said. “It’s being bid in several packages. The first will be the grubbing and dirt work. As they proceed with that, the contract for utility work will be let, followed by work on the three bridges that are part of this project, and the road work. My hope is that this job will actually be completed earlier than the 365-day schedule.”

Work is wrapping up on Edgewater Drive Phase II ($1.4 million budgeted), and is scheduled to be finished in May on Cedar Lake Drive south of Popp’s Ferry, where the city is spending $1.6 million to reconstruct and widen the existing street.

The construction of a new road at Jam Lane off Popp’s Ferry, a project that was stalled for several months, is expected to be completed in July. The budget for the project is more than $4 million.

Three major drainage projects should be under construction in a matter of weeks: the First Street project, which also will improve drainage on Pine Street and the surrounding area ($1.2 million budget); Crawford Street north, near Division Street ($470,000); and Greater Avenue, which will also improve drainage on neighboring streets ($600,000).

Among the projects now out for bids are the reconstruction of Holley Street ($750,000) and Keller Avenue ($1.25 million).

The city is currently wrapping up design work and will soon be out for bid on the Columbus-Cherokee-Corso drainage project on Porter Avenue ($300,000), Edgewater Drive Phase III ($1.4 million), and adding water lines north on Cedar Lake Road ($250,000) and under I-10 to Woolmarket ($500,000).

Drainage projects also are being designed for Popp’s Ferry and Cedar Lake, and Popp’s Ferry and Jam Lane, with a $600,000 total budget.

Another major project in the final design phases is an upgrade of the intersection of Cedar Lake and old Highway 67, where the city will add turning lanes and a traffic signal ($400,000).

Harrison County will fund and construct of two bridges in Biloxi, Holloway said, one at Hiller Park and one on Iroquois Street.

On Caillavet Street, the mayor said the city needs only 18 more parcels of property from the original 90-plus pieces of property. “We can see light at the end of the tunnel,” the mayor said. “And some of the ones we have left will be relocating on Caillavet, so we’ll we swapping land in some cases. They will build their new business before we begin the road work.”