Residents Endure Popps Ferry Construction - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/18/03

Residents Endure Popps Ferry Construction

Imagine a road construction project claiming half your front yard.

Neighbors along Popps Ferry Road can tell you what it's like. The ongoing widening work is having a major impact on the neighborhood between Sunkist and the Margaret Sherry Library.

You'd think it would be a major headache, but folks aren't complaining much.

Even though the road widening work is claiming a big chunk of their front yards, the neighbors prefer to picture the end result rather than this temporary inconvenience.

Progress slices through dozens of yards on Popps Ferry Road. Black fences mark the construction easement on both sides of the road project. Some neighbors will lose up to one third of their front yard to the widening work.

"It's a temporary inconvenience. But it's not going to last that much longer. Maybe a year and a half," said Jean Hall, who's lived on Popps Ferry for more than thirty years.

A wider Popps Ferry means a few less plants for Hall to care for in her front yard. But she doesn't mind. Her green thumb gardening produces colorful blossoms. The blooms of the roadwork will be new turning lanes and sidewalks.

"I'm real glad of the sidewalks," she said, smiling.

Davey Whitney sees the road crews making real progress. The edge of the construction zone is just a half court shot away from the former Alcorn State basketball coach's front door.

"For a period of three or four weeks, it was pretty tough. A lot of mud when they were excavating and doing this sort of thing. But now, since they've smoothed out the road and paved it somewhat so you can get your car in and out, it's a much better situation now. But it looks like they're making pretty good progress," said the retired coach.

Each of the property owners was paid for the portion of yard taken and paid for a construction easement that's marked by the black fences. Neighbors are enduring the dust and dirt and orange barrel maze, looking forward to the end result of a wider road to accommodate the ever increasing traffic.

"So far, so good. A little tough situation there about a month ago, but it's much better now," said Whitney.

Click here to see the planned phasing of the Popp’s Ferry Road area traffic improvement project at the City of Biloxi's Web Site.

By Steve Phillips

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