A bridge demolition in D'Iberville means a major traffic headache later this week. That project has a far reach that will take drivers on a long, frustrating detour. As if the cold weather closures last week weren't enough, drivers have to prepare for more detours this Saturday night. As D'Iberville preps for the next phase of their ‘diverging diamond’ project, miles of the interstate will be closed for 14 hours. As part of a 29.7 million dollar project to improve the I-10 / I-110 interchange, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (M.D.O.T.) is demolishing the D'Iberville Boulevard Bridge over the interstate. M.D.O.T. plans to rebuild the bridge as part of the diverging diamond interchange. Tom King, the Southern Transportation Commissioner, says, "We're removing the bridge, it's economic development all over, it's progress as you watch it or see it." The bridge will not destroyed by dynamite in order to protect nearby D’Iberville businesses. Instead, the bridge will be taken down by wrecking ball, forcing M.D.O.T. to close the surrounding interstate to traffic for 14 hours. During the demolition, I-10 will be closed between Highway 605 and I-110 from 7 p.m. Saturday night, until 9 a.m. Sunday morning.
King also says, "It's very important because of safety. We can't have cars driving with concrete flying everywhere and steel flying everywhere. This is an older bridge. There is a lot of steel and concrete in there." Approximately 10 miles of I-10 will be shut down this weekend, blocking access to many local businesses. Chuck Lamey, the owner of Popp’s Pizzeria, says, "Businesses that depend on that interstate traffic will obviously be affected." Popp's Pizzeria in Biloxi is right off of the Cedar Lake exit, and Lamey hopes his regulars will use their local knowledge. Lamey also says, "Ninety percent of our clientele is local. I think that that most of those will know other routes that are not too far out of the way." The proposed detour will add 18 miles to the route of drivers commuting through the area, traveling north along Highway 67 and Highway 605. M.D.O.T. officials say it is a temporary headache that will lead to a long term solution. Weather permitting, the diverging diamond project should be completed by fall of 2015. The diverging diamond project is aimed at improving traffic flow between the I-10 and I-110, a far cry from the inconvenience Saturday is sure to bring.