Harbor sails toward 2010 opening

By Bobby Allen - email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Despite initial controversy, progress is being made on the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor.

The contractor said about 20 percent of the post Katrina rebuild is complete, after only four months of work. The progress can be seen in the harbor.

Work is ramping up as Innovative Builders continue to install the bulkhead around the 40 acre marina. About 30 percent is complete.

Vice Construction is busy driving piling for the boat slips. All of the concrete pilings are in place for pier two. About 30 per cent of pier three is done. And workers from Haynes Electric are busy installing electrical wiring.

"We expect to be complete in late 2010, and when it is done it is going to be a first class facility," said Gulfport Public Information Officer Ryan LaFontaine.

The rebuilt marina has a price tag of $17.5 million. The project has had some controversy, but the city's information officer said the new facilities should be worth the wait.

"The previous administration wanted to make sure that the city got it right. You only get one shot to do this. We wanted to make sure it was exactly right, and the end result is going to be a first class facility that everyone can be proud of," LaFontaine said.

It will feature 319 boat slips, a new harbor master's office, and an educational boardwalk. The contractor expects to be done by the Winter of 2010.

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