Sand limited Hwy 90 to one lane Wednesday near Henderson Point in Pass Christian. (Photo source: Gina Pepperman)
MDOT crews were busy removing sand from Hwy 90 Wednesday morning near the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport.
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -
Blowing and drifting sand along Highway 90 is creating a driving hazard and keeping M-DOT crews busy. Workers and heavy equipment are busy removing tons of misplaced sand from the beach front highway. And the annual spring clean-up could take several weeks.
"It's rough out here. This wind is like a sand blaster," said MDOT employee Raymond Necaise.
Some sections of Highway 90 look like a sand box, with many areas reduced to one lane only. Wind gusts up to 40 miles an hour make it tough to track progress.
"You can see, as soon as we get it cleaned up, it's going right back on it. So, it's going to be rough for a few days. It's a non-ending job right here, the sand," said Necaise, as he watched the blowing and drifting.
MDOT called in reinforcements for this highway clean-up. Workers from throughout the southern district are lending a hand.
"Multiple dump trucks and men down here, trying to get this cleaned-up," said area supervisor Henderson Rettig.
"We have multiple crews from all over the district. It's going to be a tough job, it's going to be a long job. We'll be here the rest of the week trying to get it out of the road and a couple of weeks trying to get it cleaned up," he said.
By mid-day a section of eastbound 90 at Cowan Road is shutdown to accommodate the clean-up crews.
Wind is the enemy in this annual project. And while the forecast for rain could make for a soggy mess, rain could actually help with the sand removal.
"That is going to help considerably. Should drop the winds down and wet the sand. The combination of the two should stop it from blowing and help us clean it up," Rettig explained.
MDOT is pleading with drivers to avoid Highway 90. But if you must drive the beach front highway, for goodness sake slow down. The sand drifts can not only damage your car, they can cause an accident very easily.
"It can throw you off the road. Cause you to lose control of the vehicle in a lot of cases," said Rettig.
Much of the sand scooped off the highway will find its way back to the beach. As MDOT crews stockpile the sand, sand beach crews are putting it back along the shoreline.
Some of the worst areas for sand covering the highway are in Pass Christian. Police Chief John Dubuisson urges drivers to slow down and be extremely cautious since some areas are reduced to just one lane only.
Many drivers may not realize all those tiny grains of sand can damage the body of your car. "Basically it can eat it away. There's a clear coat on your paint jobs," said David Poulos, Manager of Poulos
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