Here is the text, as prepared, of Mayor A.J. Holloway’s remarks at the ground-breaking ceremony for the new boulevard to replace Caillavet Street, delivered on Nov. 9, 2004.
I want to welcome all of you here today for the formal ground-breaking ceremony for construction of a new boulevard to replace the current Caillavet Street. We’ve been a long time arriving at this milestone, and I want to thank all of you for your work in helping us get to this point.
In a minute, I’m going to call Chet Nadolski of Yates Construction forward to outline the construction process and recognize the construction team, but first I want to say a few words about what you’re going to see here.
This project – like the work we did on Popp’s Ferry and Cedar Lake roads and at the new Back Bay Boulevard – is about more than building new and wider roads. These projects are about moving traffic AND they are about enhancing our tax base by helping improve existing businesses and creating new businesses and about creating jobs.
This Caillavet Street project is important for a number of reasons.
First, it’s the final leg of our east Biloxi traffic loop system. We’ll use this new boulevard with U.S. 90, Oak Street and the new Back Bay Boulevard to help move traffic in east Biloxi. Right now, the traffic count on Caillavet Street is about 10,000 vehicles on an average day. But we’re not building the road for today. We’re building it for the future, when we’ll have thousands more cars on this road and in east Biloxi.
Second, this Caillavet Street work is part of a REVITALIZATION project. We’re creating an environment that is going to attract new interest in this area. This new four-lane boulevard is going to have a well-lit and well-manicured center median, turning lanes, enhanced traffic signals, and pedestrian-friendly 8-foot sidewalks on both sides of the boulevard.
In the next several months, as this road begins to take shape, we’re going to begin marketing the properties you see behind me to become the home of new retail shops. To help make sure this project is one that we will all be proud of, we’ve put in place enhanced zoning and land-use regulations that will dictate the appearance of the buildings and the use of the property.
We’re taking a comprehensive approach here on Caillavet Street, and now, I’m going to call Chet Nadolski forward to tell you more about it – how it’s going to be UNDER budget, ahead of schedule and to our satisfaction.