Dangerous harbor conditions will be fixed in Ocean Springs - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Dangerous harbor conditions will be fixed in Ocean Springs


By Doug Walker – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS,MS (WLOX) - The current harbor master office at the Jackson County Harbor in Ocean Springs is a temporary trailer moved in after Katrina washed the old office away.  The new office will look totally different  by the end of the year. 

"The staff and myself are all looking forward to this," Harbor Master Lesley Hamm said. "It's a great opportunity for Jackson County to show that it is moving forward and rebuilding after Katrina. And our leaseholders are all looking forward to it, especially with all the added amenities that we're going to have in the new facility." 

But there are other problems at the harbor, according to District 5 Supervisor John McKay.  

"The bulkheading is in horrible condition," McKay said.  "It's causing erosion and roads caving in all the way around and there's some dangerous electrical panels on the other side that have to be replaced." 

When the $4 million harbor restoration project is over, the harbor will be beautiful with several amenities. But one thing that will be gone forever is the danger posed by conditions like the huge potholes that can be found around the bulkhead. 

Chris Balius owns a boat at the harbor and likes the idea of a safer harbor.  

"We're not having the danger of falling into a pothole or tripping over a broken board," Balius said. 

Replacing all the broken and rotting bulkhead is a major undertaking, and will cause inconvenience, but Balius said the final product will be worth it.  

"We'll have proper water and power down here, which has been quite an ongoing struggle for the harbor master to maintain for the people who have boats here."  

And once again, those people will have a harbor they'll be proud to call home. 

Most of the money for the construction comes from FEMA, but some insurance proceeds are also being used.  The Harbor Master Office should be finished by December, but replacing the bulkheading will take about one and a half years to complete.

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