Tourist oasis on the way to downtown Biloxi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Tourist oasis on the way to downtown Biloxi

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

By Doug Walker – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - If the vision of Harrison County Supervisor Windy Swetman comes to pass, the I-110 loop in Biloxi will be transformed from plain to spectacular in the next several months.  But why that location?

"Well, this is the front porch to Biloxi and the Gulf Coast, and this represents all of South Mississippi," Swetman said. 

The project began earlier this week with the planting of 30 palm trees inside the loop.  That will be followed with sea oats and other beach vegetation, as well as lighting.  The loop itself and concrete barriers will be painted green.

Several agencies and private businesses are involved.  One is Beau Rivage, right next to the loop.  Sara Miller works there. 

"When tourists come in from I-110, and see the finished product, man it's going to be awesome," Miller said.  "It's going to give them a good feeling and what they think about our city and the Mississippi Gulf Coast." 

Bobby Weaver oversees the sand beach and can see the day this project will draw more people to downtown.  

"It gives us a great focal point to focus on as a beautification project to draw you this circle in the sand," Weaver said. "And I noticed, just coming to the meeting here this morning, the change of view that just the 30 trees have given it."

Unlike other beach beautification projects that have been neglected in the past, this one is promising to be different because there are stakeholders involved.  

"The key to success is partnerships," Swetman said. "We've got private, public and non-profit partners in this. They are stakeholders. They will make sure that this looks good." 

The project is being done in three phases, the first being the planting of the palm trees.  The total cost will be just over $50,000. The money comes from various sources, including federal grants, local funding, and private donations.

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