East Biloxi construction update
After years of road work in East Biloxi, residents and businesses in the area have something to look forward to.
Doug Lee works at Kim Long Restaurant located on Division and Reynoir streets in Biloxi. The restaurant has just been rebuilt after a devastating fire. Now, they face a new challenge, surrounding road construction and a detour route looking more like an obstacle course. “Usually we get busy at lunch time, but people don’t have too much time for lunch. They just drive around, drive around. They cannot get in and that makes us slow,” said Lee.
A few blocks away, frustration is building for resident Latonya Moore and her young son who doesn’t even go outside to play anymore because of the years of continual construction going on just yards from their front door. “The streets are torn up. I can’t get in my yard or my driveway. I used to keep everything cleaned up and the grass cut, but ever since this has been going on it’s just been messed up. So you can’t really keep everything clean anymore.”
Biloxi city leaders admit the ongoing construction has been a problem. City of Biloxi Public Affairs Manager Vincent Creel said, “It’s been a challenge for residents, for businesses, for churches in the area. It’s been a challenge for city hall. The problem is the contract did not have enough control for the city to be able to oversee it.”
Creel says Mayor Gilich was not in office when the contract was landed. “This contract took effect in August 2014 well before he became mayor.”
After the City of Biloxi complained about the progress of the project, Oscar Renda, which is in charge of fixing the 55 miles of streets in Biloxi, increased their work laborers from 97 to 138 in hopes of getting the project complete by the current deadline of December 2018 which can’t come soon enough for those who live and work in the area.