Popp's Ferry Widening Work Finished Ahead Of Schedule - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

04/23/03

Popp's Ferry Widening Work Finished Ahead Of Schedule

Traffic is moving in both directions on a five lane section of Popp's Ferry Road.

Phase one of the major road widening project finished on budget and nearly five months ahead of schedule.

For months, traffic on the one mile section was one way, with drivers using a detour loop on Jam Lane. But now, the orange barrels are gone and the City of Biloxi is celebrating.

Wednesday was a happy day for the mayor and thousands of drivers.

Some sixteen thousand cars travel the stretch of Popp's Ferry Road each day between Cedar Lake and Jam Lane.

The looping detour was frustrating and inconvenient, but necessary. Wednesday marked the end of phase one and the announcement of round two.

"This is a major step toward our goal of improving the flow of traffic here in the City of Biloxi," said a proud Mayor A.J. Holloway, just moments before he cut the ribbon.

Traffic now flows smoothly on a much wider Popp's Ferry Road. Thousands of cars use the busy connector every day. That's why city leaders and contractors were so happy to finish the work nearly five months early.

"That is an outstanding accomplishment. And you all know the issues we've had here in the past. And on behalf of Yates, I'm personally proud and excited about what we've done here and what we can do in the future," said William Yates, of Yates Construction Company.

"We're very excited about the road being opened," said Jennifer Knue.

She can now make a left turn onto Popp's Ferry when she leaves the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi at the end of the work day. The months of detour meant extra miles and frustrations.

"Happy day. Happy day. Over the last eight months it has been dirt and car washes and it's great. We're really thrilled. Really thrilled," she said.

Work on phase two of the Popp's Ferry project will begin in a few weeks. The city opens bids May 7th on the widening work between the causeway and the Margaret Sherry Library. The mayor promises phase two will also be on a fast track.

"We expect to do 24 months of work in about 18 months. We think we can do it," said the mayor.

Phase two of the widening work won't require a detour like the first phase. The contractor plans on first building a temporary lane that will carry traffic during the construction.

By Steve Phillips

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