Causeway work among $11 million in city projects now under construction

Causeway Road, the waterside thoroughfare west of the Popp’s Ferry bridge, will be closed to traffic for 90 days beginning Monday, so construction can begin on a concrete promenade that will shore up the roadside and provide better access to the waterfront.

The closing of the narrow roadway – which will allow contractors to safely use heavy earth-moving equipment – means the Popp’s Ferry boat launch will be inaccessible.

The $710,000 project, which is part of the master plan for Popp’s Ferry Causeway Park, is one of several projects now underway in Biloxi. Among the others: street repairs in the Bent Oaks subdivision, repairs at the Lighthouse Fishing Dock on Back Bay, installtion of sewer lines in Woolmarket, upgrades of roofing at three fire stations and refurbishing five water storage tanks.

In all, the projects represent more than $11 million in work, funded primarily with federal funds.

In the Popp’s Ferry causeway promenade work, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of December, Talley Contracting will construct an 11-foot-wide concrete promenade that will run 1,400-foot, between the small bridge on the causeway roadway and the boat ramps, along the western side of what the city envisions as Popp’s Ferry Causeway Park.

The promenade will be lit for nighttime fishing and will offer benches for viewing sunsets.

Meantime, on the east side of the causeway park, in the area that overlooks the saltwater marsh, work has begun to repair a 400-foot section of boardwalk that loops over the marsh. The boardwalk had been completed weeks before Katrina. The tidal surge and winds of Katrina destroyed the section closest to land, rendering large sections of the boardwalk inaccessible. The $128,000 boardwalk project, funded with FEMA money and contracted to J.E. Borries, is expected to be completed in 60 days.

In the Bent Oaks subdivision in west Biloxi, contractor Delta Construction has begun a 120-day, $110,000 project that will see repairs made to Point Clear and Bent Oaks boulevards and Mauvilla Cove. The work is being funded by the city and county.

At the Lighthouse Fishing Dock, which is at the north end of Lee Street, contractor K.R. Borries has a 180-day, $2.3 million contract to install a new bulkhead, utilities and piers. Also in the offing: a second $2.3 million project for the commercial harbor, where Borries will make repairs that will include new lighting, utilities and piers. The 180-day contact is pending council approval.

In Woolmarket, Saunders Construction is installing sewer lines to serve residents on such areas of Landing Court, Scenic River, Parker Circle, River Estates Circle, Parker’s Creek Road, North Oaklawn Road, Thomas Road, Husley Road and a segment of Woolmarket Road. The $2.87 million project is expected to be completed by next fall.

More than a million dollars worth of improvements also are underway at a trio of fire stations in Biloxi. Work has begun to install new wind-resistant metal roofs at stations on Veterans Avenue, Pass Road and adjoining the Margaret Sherry Library on Popp’s Ferry Road. The $1.1 million project, being performed by Starks Contracting, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2012.

Elevated water tanks near the fire stations at Pass Road and at the Margaret Sherry library also are being repaired and repainted as part of a project that will see upgrades at five of the city’s eight million-gallon water storage tanks. Other tanks being upgraded are the tower at Kuhn Street, and the ground-level tanks at Irish Hill Drive and Greater Avenue. The $1.1 million project, being performed by contractor Tank Pro, is expected to be completed in March.

News and notes

U.S. 90 lighting: The street lights on U.S. 90 between the I-110 and Biloxi Lighthouse, which were only weeks ago re-wired and turned over to the city by MDOT, were struck by lightning and are being repaired by city contractors.

Mark your calendar: Gallery 782 will open an exhibition of local artwork of wildlife from the bayous in south Mississippi on “First Friday,” Oct. 7, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. The evening before, at 5:30 p.m., visitors can get a preview of the show and meet “Friends Along the Bayou” author Betty Oswald of Gautier and illustrator Sandy L. Ford of Pascagoula. Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the preservation of the Pascagoula River Basin. Details: (228) 436-7782 or kmiller@biloxi.ms.us.

This is just a test: On Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. Biloxi time, the first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System will occur. Virtually all broadcast and cable programming in the United States will be interrupted simultaneously with the familiar alert tone. As part of the exercise, the city will test its 10 emergency siren towers. You can read background on the city’s towers in a Bmail from March, when the network went online. To read it, and hear the sirens online, click here.

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