Ocean Springs Harbor set for expensive makeover

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - By Patrice Clark – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) – Work is set to begin on a $3 million makeover at the harbor in Ocean Springs. District 5 Supervisor John McKay said the county will take bids in November for the improvement project, which will include everything from lighting to road repair.

Ruby Foretich rides her bike around the harbor all the time to be near the water. But she said the ride is always so bumpy.

"The roads need to be repaired, yes."

Kenny Dinero owns a bait shop at the harbor and believes it's a prime location. He admits a facelift could make this area a more popular spot.

"This is the place to be," Dinero said. "This is where you put your boat over at on the weekends. It is the closes place to Gulf, Biloxi and here."

"It is old," Supervisor John McKay said. "This harbor has been here for years."

Supervisor McKay said Ocean Springs and the county have finally agreed to spend millions in FEMA funds they received after Hurricane Katrina for some much needed harbor improvements.

"We just now got through all the permitting processes, through all the design processing, so we are about ready to get started," McKay said.

McKay said the rough roads at the harbor will be smoothed out. The eroding wooden bulkheads will be replaced with stronger walls.

"It is a metal; vinyl sheeting type of bulk heading that will last and stand up to the saltwater."

A boardwalk and fifteen large decorative lights will go up around the harbor.

"You can walk down here at night and it can be safe and it will be well lit. We have had several break-ins, so with the lighting it will help control vandalism type things.

McKay said South Mississippians should expect to see the total transformation of the harbor by the end of next year.

Ocean Springs has also invested more than $100,000 in grant money toward landscaping and beautification changes at the harbor.  McKay said FEMA will still have to okay the construction costs.

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