U.S. 90 lighting project begins next week; other news and notes

Mississippi Power Co. contractors are expected to begin work Tuesday or Wednesday in the next phase of the city’s lighting of U.S. 90, between White Avenue and St. George Street.

No lane closures are expected, but Beach Boulevard motorists are advised to use caution when traveling the work area.

The lighting project – which will cost the city more than $400,000 — is expected to be completed within 90 days. The work will see the installation of 43 40-foot fiberglass breakaway poles in the center median, all topped with 400-watt cobra-head fixtures, the same style fixtures employed before the storm.

Contractors are expected to begin installing underground wiring before poles will be installed. Wiring is expected to be installed by June 8.

“Providing center-median lighting in this area, the so-called Holy Land, is something we didn’t even have before the storm,” Mayor A.J. Holloway said, “so this is one of those cases where we’re building back better than before. In fact, when our work is completed, it will mark the first time that all of Beach Boulevard in Biloxi is lit to stafety-industry standards.”

The installation of street lights on another section of Beach Boulevard, the two-mile stretch between Beauvoir Road and Rodenberg Avenue, is expected to begin in mid-May and should be completed by the end of July. That $569,000 project, which will involve the installation of 76 break-away poles, is being funded by the federal government.

Lighting repairs are still in the works for two other areas – between Myrtle and Oak streets on U.S. 90, a city responsibility; and at I-110 and U.S. 90, where MDOT has a contract in place to repair lights as part of lighting repairs on the I-110 highrise.

Nearly 180 of the 250 or so pre-Katrina street lights on U.S. 90 in Biloxi were restored in December 2005, when the four-lane boulevard was fully re-opened to traffic.

News and notes

More traffic work: You can get an overview of traffic-improvement work in the new State of the City report. To see a page-by-page view, click here.

Webcasting: This week’s City Desk webcast includes hurricane preparedness info and a recap of Tuesday’s big events: Biloxi Elks Lodge 606 Youth in Government Day, a visit by a group of foreign dignataries, and the Biloxi City Council meeting. To listen, click here.

Fishing tournament: Back Bay Mission’s annual Fishing Armada and Catfish Dinner is next weekend at the Maritime and Seafood Industry Schooner Pier. For details, click here.

Hurricane prep: Key city department and division heads met this morning at City Hall to review the city’s preparations for the upcoming storm season. Several other sessions are planned before the June 1 launch of the new season. What can you do to prepare? Find tips in the city’s online Storm & Flood Preparedness center. To go there, click here.