Update on Popp’s Ferry Road work, other public projects

Here is the prepared text of Mayor A.J. Holloway’s presentation to the audience at the Biloxi Chamber’s Breakfast with the Mayor, held Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012 at The Innovation Center, the small business incubator on Popp’s Ferry Road.

We have a lot of work going on right now. Let me give you a quick rundown.

First, let me tell you about a milestone on the project here on Popp’s Ferry Road.

A contractor has been given an Oct. 1 notice to proceed on installing drainage on the south side of Popp’s Ferry Road between Cedar Lake Road and Lamey Street, which is the city limits with D’Iberville. ($670,000)

We’ll be installing 1600 linear feet of drainage pipes and 650 linear feet of concrete paved ditches, and we’ll be clearing and grubbing land on both sides of Popp’s Ferry Road between Cedar Lake and Lamey.

Like I said, the notice to proceed is Oct. 1, so you’ll be seeing this work soon.

We open bids Oct. 24 on the seafood industry museum and waterfront park. We begin site preparation – which includes demolishing the museum slab – in the next few weeks. ($95,000)

At the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor, we opened bids in July on the new bait shop and installation of new fuel tanks, and we expect to begin construction sometime in October, and have a new bait shop and fuel dock open in less than a year, if the creek don’t rise and the hurricanes don’t come.

Speaking of hurricanes, we continue to access the damage from Hurricane Isaac.

Our debris teams are completing their first pass of the entire city this week. Our initial estimate was 20,000 cubic yards of debris throughout the city, and that’s about how much we have picked up.

We are still seeing people bring out debris.

So at the end of this week, our debris teams are going to take a break. It’s what they call de-mobilizing.

Over the next two weeks, we are again asking everyone who has not yet picked up debris from any property they own to get out there and do it now. Do it this weekend.

We’ll then make one final pass to get it all picked up.

It is important to get this done now while the federal and state governments are paying 87.5 percent of the cost.

If we don’t get this all done now, then you and me – and the rest of the taxpayers of Biloxi will have to pay to haul away this debris.

We have a pre-construction meeting on the new Public Works Complex on Friday, and the preliminary plan is begin construction sometime in October. ($8.5 million)

We expect to award a contract next week to a firm to expand the parking lot at the Civic Center and Library. We’re expanding the parking lot to the east side of the building. ($130,000)

We expect to complete work in early October on the Forrest Avenue boat ramp. We’re checking right now to see if any extensions are needed because of any damages from Isaac. ($350,000)

Many of you who travel Pass Road have probably noticed the work to improve the flow of traffic. We’re upgrading the existing traffic signals at Eisenhower and Big Lake. ($860,000)

We’re improving the turning radius, we’ve added turning lanes, and we have sidewalks that meet ADA requirements. At Stennis Drive, which is near the Donal Snyder Community Center, we’re adding a cross walk signal that will be coordinated with the Bay Vista Fire Station.

All of this should be completed in January.

Out in Woolmarket, we’re continuing to work on the waterline that will add water service and fire hydrants on Woolmarket Road, from John Lee to Shortcut. This work is scheduled to be completed in early December. ($1.04 million)

At I-10 and old Highway 67, we’re constructing eight wastewater pump stations with force mains, 20,000 linear feet of 8-inch gravity sewer mains, and 84 manholes. This work will be completed by the end of next month. ($2.87 million)

At the Mardi Gras Museum in downtown Biloxi, work is progressing on the exhibit design with the opening anticipated in the late spring. In addition to the static displays, the museum will include video presentations on all aspects of Mardi Gras in Biloxi and along the coast. Those videos are currently in production.

As far as other construction underway throughout the city, there’s Beauvoir Pass Subdivision on Pass Road, Biloxi Boardwalk Restaurant “The Hook Up” down off Oak Street, the White Pillars Restaurant, the Steinmart relocation, the new Santa Maria Del Mar Apartments, the Beauvoir Library, a new veterinary clinic on Oaklawn Road, and the community college hospitality center on Debuys Road.

We also have two subdivisions under construction in Woolmarket, the Popp’s Ferry causeway project is wrapping up, and Coast Transit is building a new comfort station on the beach just east of Rodenberg.

We are continuing to review the plans for the Golden Nugget, the New Hard Rock Hotel, the new Raising Cane’s restaurant and the new McDonald’s at Edgewater Mall, a new Circle K on Popp’s Ferry Road, a new Crazy 8 Children’s Retail Store at Edgewater Mall, the new VFW on Veterans Avenue, the new Biloxi Regional Medical Center at Cedar Lake and three more restaurants in downtown Biloxi.

Well, there you have it. A quick rundown on what’s happening and what will be happening.

God bless each of you and God bless Biloxi.