End of road construction hopes to pull more tourist

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - The sounds of heavy construction equipment and detour signs on Beach Boulevard in Hancock County will soon be a thing of the past.

"If it was done yesterday, it's not soon enough," said Hancock County Engineer Jeff Clemens.

Clemens said the underground utility work along the beach road has already been completed; crews are now finishing up sub-surface drainage that has been added to the road, as well as completing the final section of a concrete pedestrian walk-way and bike path.

"It's been a mix of different types of repairs. [On] the north end, they've replaced all of the damaged concrete panels, and then sections of the guard rails along the seawall. And then on the south end, of course, it's basically a total rebuild of the road," said Clemens.

He said the entire project is expected to be finished in late August or early September.

"Everything is looking good if we just get the road completed and get our day users back, it will be fantastic," said Waveland Mayor David Garcia.

Garcia said he knows the road work is a necessity but said it has detoured too many tourists, leaving the beaches virtually empty.

"Friends from Louisiana, they drive over and use the beaches during the day. We're losing a lot of that right now to people going across the bridge to Henderson Point Pass Christian," explained Garcia. "Once we get this beach road completed, it's going to bring our day users back, and it's going to help our local businesses."

The entire reconstruction work cost more than $30 million and was funded through a variety of state and federal sources.

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