Pascagoula beach expansion nears completion - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Pascagoula beach expansion nears completion

By Sylvia Hall – bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - The waves make a different sound south of Market Street in Pascagoula now. Instead of slapping the city seawall, they roll onto sand.

The sand is the result of a beach expansion project, started late last year by the Army Corp of Engineers. The project is now inching toward completion.

"I'm amazed at how far they've come so fast," said Pascagoula Councilman Frank Corder. "We've come from The Point all the way down almost to the current sand beach, and they have made great strides."

If you were to stand on the water's edge several months ago, you would be standing in 4-5 feet of water, and have to walk more than 100 feet to get back to land, according to Program Manager Jaci Turner. In fact, this is the first time in more than 100 years there's been sand outside the seawall on the vast majority of Pascagoula's Beach Boulevard.

Work continues to bridge the gap between the new beach and the older one, a portion of shoreline beside Beach Park, known as "The Sandbox."

Corder looks forward to the project's completion date, slated to finish in the fall, but it could come as soon as this summer.

"We've had a beach for a little while, but of course, we haven't had one that stretches this far," said Corder. "This will be an added amenity to kind of help us sell the city."

Corder agrees with Turner; however, that the beach's biggest benefit stretches beyond recreation.

"It's a first line of defense for future storms," said Turner. "The waves will be able to crash on the beach and not tear up our streets and our homes as readily."

Whether the skies are stormy or clear, Turner and Corder said they can't wait for the beach to open.

"This is just a tremendous recreational opportunity; it's a tremendous protection," said Turner.  "It's just an amazing investment in our town on the part of the federal government, and we really appreciate it."

The city plans to spend the summer designing a new beach promenade to give runners, walkers and bikers safer access to Beach Boulevard.

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