Ongoing road work costing businesses money in Biloxi
The $355 million dollar construction project in East Biloxi continues to cause problems for those working and living in the area. The road work has been ongoing since the summer of 2014 and local business owners say the city owes them something in return.
Roads are still torn up here in East Biloxi as the largest infrastructure project the state has ever been awarded continues, the construction is costing area businesses money. Owner of DJs convenience store Patrick Davis tells News 25 he’s lost half his customers since the project started. “The streets are blocked off. You can’t get to your business, customers complaining about the roads, tearing their cars up, with the dust, the contractors. It’s just been horrible.”
Just down Division Street from Davis is Desporte and Sons Seafood in Biloxi. Desporte and Son’s Seafood Owner Sean Desporte said, “The roads are so bad. People are just not driving down. We’re used to having traffic nonstop going down the street and right now there’s nobody.”
Desporte says his seafood business used to stay busy all year long. He tells News 25 he’s tired of the road work driving customers off. “It messed up your car, your tires, and people don’t want to get their cars all dirty.”
City Contractor Oscar Renda originally said the work in East Biloxi would be finished August 2017. The $355 million construction project’s completion date was pushed back to June 2018. Vincent Creel with the City of Biloxi said, “When you’re doing major road work like this you’re going to have inconvenience. Nobody is happy about how long this project is taking.”
Business owners say they understand the city is doing all that they can to speed up the roadwork, but if they can’t make things move any quicker, maybe the city could cut them some slack. “On the property taxes, give us a break on them or just delete the property taxes for just a couple years. We’ve been dealing with this for three to four years,” said Davis.
According to city officials, the west end of Division Street will be completely paved by the end of January.