Oscar Renda adds crews to north contract

The firm handling the infrastructure work on 55 miles of streets north of the CSX Railway in east Biloxi has added more than three dozen more workers, a 33 percent increase in manpower, since the beginning of the year, Biloxi Chief Administrative Officer Mike Leonard reports, and an additional subcontractor is coming aboard to help keep the project moving.

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich “has worked to find a way to speed up this project, within the terms of the contract,” Leonard said, “and we’re pleased that Oscar Renda Contracting has added four work crews, totaling 41 laborers, since January, and we understand an additional subcontractor, Lane Construction, also will be on the job.”

Added Leonard: “These are very positive indications that work progress will be picking up pace.”

In December, Oscar Renda had a total of 126 workers on the “north contract,” including 97 laborers. That number has steadily increased, to 167 today, including 138 laborers.

“Mayor Gilich has tried to take steps to alleviate this huge inconvenience since the day he took office,” Leonard said. “The first step was to get some temporary paving down on major thoroughfares, which we did. The next step was to get FEMA reimbursement s to the city quicker, which we did, and the next step was to see more real progress, which we are doing.” Leonard said.

In its latest monthly video of progress, Oscar Renda reports that pavement has been installed on all streets east of Lee Street, and sewer and drainage work continues on most other streets.

“The issue,” Leonard said, “has been that the work zone is such a huge area. It was totally disruptive. That’s why you don’t see wholesale demolition on the south contract, which we began several weeks ago. Work of this magnitude is going to be inconvenient, no doubt, but our goal is to  minimize the inconveniences and tighten the amount of time between a road being torn up and repaved.”

See the Oscar Renda video of progress