GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Work on Gautier's streetscape project will begin next week along U.S. Highway 90. Merchants like Tom Solley said a makeover will be good for business in Gautier.
"Whenever the community invests in itself, the rewards are several," Solley said.
Gautier Mayor Tommy Fortenberry agrees.
"What it's going to do is give us a footprint of downtown," Mayor Fortenberry said. "We have vacant buildings on Highway 90, and we need businesses just like any other town."
Gautier will revamp four miles on Highway 90, from Beasley Road to Johnson Street. The city has $5.8 million in federal funds.
"What this would do is put multiuse walkways on both sides of Highway 90, the north and the south side. We will have decorative shelters for people to get under.
Dozens of Crape Myrtle trees in the median will be removed to install decorative lights, but the mayor said tree lovers need not worry.
"Those trees will be saved and put at other places in the city. We will put back Live Oaks and other trees."
This project and others will challenge drivers in Gautier for a while, so the mayor said to look for lots of detour signs.
"We have MDOT that's putting in the three lanes. We have Gautier/Vancleave Road that is going to be resurfaced, and Ladnier Road that is going to be resurfaced."
When this makeover is finished, Fortenberry believes Gautier will be a more attractive place to live work and visit. The mayor said work should be finished by the end of next year