Ohr, Lighthouse area, harbor launch to see upgrades, repairs

A game plan has been set in motion for upgrades to the Lighthouse Pier parking area and the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor boat launch, and repairs are now in the works for the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art Welcome Center, which was damaged by a fire a year ago.

Today, contractors with Twin L will begin a 60-day project to upgrade the public parking area south of the Biloxi Lighthouse.  Improvements include removing the imposing guardrail between the beach and parking area and installing concrete bollards. The site also will see new parking lot islands, curbing and vegetation.  There also will be a designated staging area for the Biloxi Tour Train and the center entrance and exit, east of the Biloxi Lighthouse will be closed to allow for additional parking. 

“We are looking to dress up and improve the area around the Lighthouse Pier,” said Biloxi Chief Administrative Officer Mike Leonard. “The overall area will be more visually appealing, and, more importantly, the public will have better access to of one of the more popular places on Biloxi’s beachfront.”

The parking area will remain open during the $70,000 project, but some work areas may be temporarily closed. 

Repairs to the fire-damaged welcome center at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art are set to begin on Oct. 2.

The 90-day, $190,000 project will include detailed cleaning of walls and floors by Teddy Bear’s Services, followed by repairs by Starks Contracting. The Welcome Center, one of five buildings on the Ohr campus, has been closed since Aug. 25, 2016, when a mechanical malfunction sparked a fire in a cooler in the museum’s cafĂ©. The blaze caused extensive damage in the Welcome Center, which houses the museum ticket counter, gift shop, cafe, an art gallery and administrative offices. Those services were relocated to the City of Biloxi Center for Ceramics, the three-story building on the western end of the campus.

And on Oct. 30, workers will begin a 30-day project to install a new pre-fabricated concrete boat ramp, over the existing boat ramp, at the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor. The project also will include the installation of new bumper rails.

The harbor boat ramp will be closed while the project is underway, which is expected to involve the entire month of November. During the closure, the public will be encouraged to use the Kuhn Street Boat Launch.
See the redesigned Lighthouse Parking and Pier Area
See the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art website


News and notes

Popp’s Ferry park progress:  The buildings are coming out of the ground and the boardwalks are going down at Popp’s Ferry Causeway Park. The project remains on track for its April 2018 completion. For a look at the progress and to see a site plan of the additions, click here.

Parking: Chief Administrative Officer Mike Leonard says the Woolmarket and Eagle Point communities could be home to three new city parks this time next year. One would be adjacent to Fire Station No. 10, one is planned adjacent to the community center off Kayleigh Cove, and the third would be at an eight-acre site, the former location of a treatment lagoon in Eagle Point.

City Council: The Biloxi City Council, this afternoon, approved the Fiscal Year 2018 municipal budget during its 1:30 p.m. meeting at Biloxi City Hall.  To see images from the meeting,  click here