Dust, gravel, closed streets, pot holes, and puddles: it’s been a common sight in Biloxi as work continues to complete the city’s massive infrastructure project that has dragged out over the past few years, causing headaches for many who live, work, and travel in the construction areas, but help is on the way.
“We have lost business because people stop coming because of if it’s not dusty, it’s muddy, one of the two. They just put us in chaos. We have been living like this for four years and it’s really just draining us. I am the last of the few businesses left back here.” Tyrone Burton is one of many Biloxi owners who have had enough of the lingering road work in downtown Biloxi. Burton has owned ‘Tyrone’s Barber and Beauty Salon’ for over 50 years and he says lately his business is taking a hit.
Vincent Creel with the City of Biloxi said, “We’re aware of the impact they’re having on residents and that they are having on businesses. Anybody you run into in East Biloxi, they’re just going to shake their head if you ask them about this project. They’re ready for it to be over, we’re with them.”
Finally, a light at the end of the tunnel, the city council intervened on Tuesday to fast-track the project. Construction north of the railroad tracks adds up to about 55 miles of roadway with just eight miles still left to be paved. “Mayor Gilich stepped in and said let’s get a third contractor in there, let’s get this road finished. So probably in the next week or two you’re going to see work resume on Reynoir Street. You’re going to see a contractor get on in there and probably have it done in a month to a month-and-a-half.”
The city is set to pay Lane Construction nearly $57,000 to finish the work on Benachi Avenue in 18 days and more than $376,000 for the work on Esters Boulevard to be completed in the next 31 days.