BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - As Spring Break weekend on the Coast comes to an end, visitors are preparing to leave, which means more activity along U.S. Highway 90. As of 4:30 p.m. Sunday, traffic was moderate but steadily flowing.
The bright orange traffic cones are still in place and will likely stay up until Monday morning, according to Biloxi dispatch.
Traffic is open in both lanes of Highway 90, but areas of congestion are still reported from Veterans Avenue to Debuys Road.
Just hours before on Saturday night, the highway was full of life with busy traffic and spring breakers searching for a good time.
Traffic backups were reported on Pass Road as well as U.S. Highway 90 well into Saturday night, especially in areas from Jim Money to Debuys roads.
Just before 5 p.m. Saturday, traffic on U.S. Highway 90 was reduced to one lane each way in Biloxi. Limited turns were allowed. Traffic was heavy from the Interstate 110 exit west to Tegarden Road,
The right hand lane was open to traffic, and the left lane was reserved for emergency vehicles. Left turns were prohibited.
Traffic was also delayed in Gulfport on Highway 90 at Cowan Road as a result of sand buildup on the roadway. Equipment is on the scene to clear the area.
In north Biloxi, Cedar Lake Road at the bridge was closed due to water on the roadway.
Traffic delays were reported on the Popp’s Ferry bridge as the crossing bars were stuck in the down position, but the issue was resolved around 2 p.m.
Biloxi police and fire units responded to a traffic incident with injuries on U.S Highway 90 that caused traffic delays. The incident happened just before 1 p.m. Saturday in the eastbound lane in the area of Ocean Club Boulevard.
Friday was a day of fun in the sun as spring break visitors took to the beaches in Biloxi.
Traffic flowed smoothly all day as cones lined Highway 90, though there was some congestion, especially in the area of the Mississippi Coast Coliseum, which is where a variety of spring break events are being held.
Use caution when traveling on Highway 90 and Pass Road in Biloxi this weekend.
The traffic plan is now the city’s go-to procedure for all large-scale events that cause heavy traffic. In addition to those all-too-familiar orange cones, the plan involves multiple law enforcement agencies working together to keep traffic flowing and allow for emergency vehicles to get through if needed.
The plan, when fully implemented, limits Highway 90 to right-hand lanes, eastbound and westbound, with left lanes restricted to emergency vehicles. In some instances, turns are prohibited at intersections to keep traffic flowing, and, if traffic becomes gridlocked, police will “vent” traffic, forcing vehicles to travel as far away as Interstate 10.
Tens of thousands of spring breakers are expected on the Coast this weekend but an exact number is not clear.
Police will make sure traffic cones are in place before Spring Break and other events, but the lanes won’t be restricted unless they are needed.
Last year, for instance, lanes were not restricted until later in the day on Friday, when traffic began increasing.
There are actually two known sites of Spring Break. One has events at the Coast Coliseum, while the other focuses on renting parking spaces in vacant fields several blocks east and west of the facility, promoted as “Park-n-Play” locations, on privately-owned property west of the Coast Coliseum.
The interest in Spring Break is driven online, especially on social media. The online sites – one has more than 105,000 followers – promote various parties at various public and private venues, under loosely organized themes of “Biloxi Black Beach,” “Black Spring Break,” “Mississippi Gulf Coast Spring Break,” “Mississippi Coast Spring Fest,” or merely “Black Beach Weekend.” For consistency, the city refers to the event as “Spring Break.”