The recent growth in D'Iberville has been happening quickly, causing growing pains as the city struggles to keep up. This past weekend, M.D.O.T. completed the first step in a nearly 30 million dollar roadway project. M.D.O.T. crews are currently cleaning up the remains of the D'Iberville Bridge that was torn down this weekend. At the same time, they're preparing to rebuild the same bridge with four lanes, as well as access ramps from I-10. M.D.O.T. will also build ramps from I-10 to Lamey Road Bridge, just east of I-110, and that's just phase one of the project. All this construction has caused some hardships for travelers and store owners in the area, but D'Iberville officials say it will be worth the headache. Bobby Eleuterius, the City Manager of D’Iberville, says, "We've been talking to the merchants. There's been some concern because it’s hard for people to get to them at this point. But they also recognize that once this project is complete, what it’s going to bring in: the many more visitors, the many more shoppers. So they're looking forward to its completion, but they also know the benefits at the end of the project."
Phase two, which will be happening at the same time as phase one, will include the tear down and rebuilding of Big Ridge Road, which runs over I-110. M.D.O.T. says that the first steps have gone better than expected, and they hope to finish the entire project in just over a year. D'Iberville officials already see this long term investment paying off. Eleuterius also says, "Economically, it’s going to benefit us all, especially the shops. It’s going to be safer. It’s going to be easier access to all the merchants. We're continually moving forward." M.D.O.T. officials say that the demolition of this D'Iberville bridge went so smoothly because they stuck to the plan. They hope that the demolition of a second bridge in phase two will go just as smoothly. Michael Harter, a M.D.O.T. Project Engineer, says, "I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to work with. Everything went smoothly. Traffic flowed smoothly. Anytime you do something of this magnitude, especially shutting down an interstate, and you can get through that long 14 hour period without as much as a fender-bender, then we did pretty good." M.D.O.T. just hopes they can keep ahead of the curve as D'Iberville's economy and traffic continue to grow. The project is being funded by a post-Katrina development grant given to M.D.O.T. by the Mississippi Development Authority.