April 20, 2014
By Mary Perez at Sun Herald
BILOXI -- The southern portion of Caillavet Street will be closed for the next month to move utility lines and after that, drivers will navigate around streets closed in commercial areas of Biloxi for the next three years.
Restore Biloxi, a FEMA-funded project to repair or replace infrastructure that went under water during Hurricane Katrina, is complete in several residential areas and now is moving to busier parts of the city.
A $116.5 million contract for streets north of the railroad tracks in East Biloxi was awarded last week and two other contracts -- south of the tracks in East Biloxi and along U.S. 90 through West Biloxi -- are right behind.
"We expect all of those to be under way by next January," said David Flanders, vice president of HNTB Corp., the company that is overseeing the $355 million Restore Biloxi project,
Work on Caillavet Street is primarily to move water and sewer lines that pass under the baseball stadium site. The portions of work that fall under Restore Biloxi are being done now, "Se we don't have to come back and tear it up later," said Marvin Dalla Rosa, project manager for HNTB. The same was done at the Biloxi Visitors Center.
Yates Construction is project manager for the stadium construction and business owners in the area told the Biloxi Council they were unhappy they didn't have more notice that Caillavet Street would close. Crystal Locklar, whose family owns Josette's Costumes at the corner of Caillavet Street and Howard Avenue, said she is concerned her customers won't be able to get to the business during construction.
Tony Morrow, an engineer with Yates, told the council he has met with all the business owners in the area and told them customers will have access.
The work still to come in Biloxi will affect many more businesses, said Dalla Rosa. The infrastructure project will be going down Division Street where there are even more businesses.
One or two public meetings will be held before the start of construction in those areas, he said, and other meetings will provide updates during the 39-month project. Mailers also will go out to tell residents and business owners what they can expect to see and when.