The construction of the new Lorraine Road Bridge will be a three part effort between Gulfport, Biloxi, and Harrison County. Today, Gulfport took the initiative as the first party to sign on to the project. There were no objections today as the Gulfport City Council approved a resolution to enter a cooperative effort with Biloxi and Harrison County to build a new Lorraine Road Bridge. The new bridge is a ten million dollar project. It will cost Gulfport, Biloxi, and Harrison County just over $800,000 each. Ricky Dombrowski, a councilman for Gulfport, says, “It’s probably three to four times longer than the existing bridge. It extends out over the flooded portion of Biloxi, the area that traditionally floods.” The new bridge will be built just south of the current location. The current bridge is in a state of deterioration.
Last year, the bridge was closed for three months for repairs, and that time cost businesses near the bridge dearly. Millie Mason of Duffy’s Lounge says, “People didn't want to drive out here. People that lived in other places had been used to coming over the bridge, from Gulfport especially, so it really affected me.” Last fall when the Lorraine Road Bridge was shut down, it caused major delays for drivers, but with construction of the new bridge, it won’t cause the same problems as last time. The current bridge will remain open while the new one is under construction. Now that Gulfport has passed the measure, the Biloxi City Council will take up the issue next week.
Dave Nichols, the Chief Administrative Officer for Biloxi, says, “If Gulfport passes the resolution today, then we'll pass ours next week.” The new bridge is designed to create less run off during heavy rain storms, which should reduce flooding in the area. If all goes according to plan, construction on the new bridge should begin next fall.