Ocean Springs Front Beach walkway nearing completion - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Ocean Springs Front Beach walkway nearing completion

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

By Sylvia Hall – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Ocean Springs native Dana Reed can't believe the work going on in her hometown, especially on Front Beach.

"It's hard to even imagine this from when I was in grade school," said Reed.  "This is going to be just beautiful."

She's one of the many people who walked the beach this weekend on a brand new sidewalk winding from the Biloxi Bay Bridge.  It's not finished yet, but the city plans for the walkway to continue all the way down Front Beach.

"I know there are a lot of people who are interested in being outside and exercising," Reed said.  "And this makes it safe to do so."

Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran hopes the development will help more people enjoy the beach safely. 

"We want families to be able to come enjoy, especially with baby strollers, those small children on bicycles, handicapped scooters," said Moran.  "Lots of people who want to come to the beach, but they can't really access the sand itself.  So now people will be able to come down, enjoy the waterfront and not worry about the traffic."

Moran said the finished product will also include fire pits, benches, lights and street side landscaping.  She said the walkway itself should open in coming months, and work will continue on other parts of the project throughout the summer. 

A small slab of walkway near the Ocean Springs Yacht Club is partially finished to give people an idea of what to expect in the fall, when the project is set to be completed.  On that section, the walkway is separated from the beach by a small wall.  Greenery stands between the sidewalk and the street.

Ward 2 Alderman Matt McDonnell represents the area.  He said although work is set to continue throughout the summer, he wants the beach itself to be cleaned up soon.

"I think in the next 30 days we're going to see some substantial progress toward restoring the beach back to the condition that people expect it in the summer months," said McDonnell.  "It's very important because it's a place where families can come, it doesn't cost anything to come to the beach."

McDonnell said designers are nailing down some drainage issues with the beach side development.  He and Moran ask people to have patience with the project this summer.

"We're going to ensure that it's done right," said McDonnell.  "I think that folks, if they'll just have a little patience, they'll see that the beach is much nicer than it's ever been here in Ocean Springs."

"So just bear with us," said Moran.  "Go out and enjoy the walkway itself, it really is a linear park."

Moran said the project carries a price tag of $2 million, and is funded completely by grants.

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