Work on Caillavet revitalization to resume

Mayor A.J. Holloway, who in the wake of Hurricane Katrina froze work on dozens of Biloxi’s major improvement projects, announced today that work will soon resume on the revitalization of Caillavet Street.

The project, part of the city’s east Biloxi traffic improvement initiative, involves the construction of a new four-lane boulevard in place of Caillavet Street between the CSX Railway and Bayview Avenue. The roadway, which will include a tree-lined center median, is designed to help create an east Biloxi traffic loop that also employs Oak Street, Back Bay Boulevard and U.S. 90 to help move traffic more efficiently.

Construction on the new roadway – at a pre-Katrina cost of more than $9 million — had begun in November 2004 with a contracted completion this month. However, the city was on track to complete the project in January 2006, more than six months ahead of schedule.

“All that changed when Katrina came along,” Holloway told more than 100 residents and business leaders attending the Biloxi Chamber’s “Breakfast With the Mayor” this morning at Edgewater Mall.

“But today, I’m proud to announce that we’ve notified all contractors that we wanted to get this project cranked up again,” Holloway said to an applauding audience. Work could be underway in as soon as two weeks.

The first task facing the six contractors working on the project is repairing any above ground or underground storm damage.

“If we don’t find any surprises, I expect the contractors to wrap up work on this project in seven or eight months, if not sooner,” Holloway said, noting that the project will be driven by the city’s innovative construction management program, which helped complete work on a new Back Bay Boulevard and a widened Popp’s Ferry Road ahead of schedule.

“When all is completed on Caillavet Street, we’ll have the four-lane boulevard as the centerpiece, but the real story will be the 36 parcels of land and 7.3 acres we’re revitalizing on Caillavet’s east side,” Holloway said. “The eight-foot wide sidewalks and attractive landscaping will help this area be a success, too.

“This,” the mayor added, “is going to be a great project. It’s one that will help move traffic and create jobs. It’s a project that will remind you of the great things we were doing before the storm, and is also a strong sign of our recovery.”

More information and background online

—You can read background on the Caillavet project and see artist’s renderings of the new roadway from a page in the State of the City report mailed to Biloxi residents in February 2005. To read it, click here.

—To see the lineup of the city’s capital projects, as reported in February 2005, click here.