Biloxi: Proposed connector roads to spur economic growth

By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi city officials say they want to make sure the recently passed comprehensive plan doesn't end up sitting on a shelf somewhere.

Community Development Director Jerry Creel said his office will prepare reports every six months that outline what progress has been made in achieving the goals in the comprehensive plan. One of the major components in that plan is making it easier for people to get around.

Carl Sweat lives on what he calls a very heavily traveled Woolmarket Road.

"With the traffic count on it now I wouldn't want to increase it," Sweat said. "Being a mile and a half from the interstate, you can hit the interstate and go to Gulfport, Biloxi, wherever you want to go. I don't see the reason to extend the road."

Biloxi officials said a lot can be gained by extending Woolmarket Road westward so that it connects with O'Neal Road. The city would also like to extend Shorecrest Road to the north to what would be the new section of Woolmarket Road.

Community Development Jerry Creel said, "You have to get your people to your businesses that are being established. The closer you can get them there, the sooner you can get them there, the ease at which you can get them there certainly play a big part in the success in that business."

The comprehensive plan calls for joining Popp's Ferry Road to Interstate 10 at Woolmarket. Creel said a map of the Popp's Ferry connector was taken out of the comprehensive plan because some residents were confused and thought dotted lines on the map were an actual route. City officials stress that no exact routes have been set for any of the proposed road projects. That will take engineering studies. Officials also say no timelines are in place because the city is still determining which projects will be priorities.

"We want this to be a plan that is a real plan. A living breathing plan," said Creel. "So what we're going to do is once we establish that priority list and the mayor approves it, then we'll tie that list of priorities to the budget so we actually have funding to support each activity."

Biloxi's comprehensive plan also calls for connecting Cedar Lake Road to the D'Iberville city limits north of the Interstate.

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