Jeff Davis Avenue coming together

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - By David Elliott – bio | email

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - A look up Jeff Davis Avenue from the south end reveals that an ambitious project is changing the city's main artery.

A nearly $8 million streetscape project is a positive sign along the road to recovery five years after Katrina.

"I think it's fantastic. They couldn't have done a better job" said Shawn Montella, owner of Bankhouse Coffee who thinks this is a key to the city's revitalization. "What we're seeing is new restaurants opening, more traffic. It's a big deal."

New restaurants are being built. City hall is expected to be completed by November. Long Beach should cut the ribbon on the new town green sometime in January.

This project began 18 months ago. It was funded by FEMA and CDBG money given to the state Katrina. Some delays and some inconvenience caused alarm for some of the businesses on Jeff Davis.

"I think they realized it would be worth it. Although is was frustrating for many of them, it will be a good thing when it's finished," said Mayor Billy Skellie.

Business owner Pam Sanders said in the long run it was worth the interruption.

"It was worth waiting for now. It's like the gate opened back up."

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