With Or Without MDOT, Mayor Says New Bridge A Must - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/19/04

With Or Without MDOT, Mayor Says New Bridge A Must

The old Popps Ferry restaurant and fish camp have been a Biloxi Back Bay fixture for nearly forty years. Gunner Gensert has watched the Popps Ferry Bridge go up countless times every day. He agrees with the mayor that it's time to replace the 25 year old bridge.

"It would be an improvement, definitely. Now, I hate to say that. We've been here since 1965, my wife and I, and my wife loves the place, but progress will come. We want to be good citizens and we'll go along with whatever comes," Gensert says.  

Even if that means losing his waterfront paradise.

"It's either going to go east or west of the old bridge cause they going to have to leave the old bridge until the new bridge is built."

Mayor A.J. Holloway says he expects that to happen within five years after getting the money to build another bridge. Holloway says he wishes the state transportation department would work with the city, but Holloway says that's not a necessity. 

"We're going to continue to go forward and continue to go to Washington to talk to our congressman and senators and see if they will come and help us with this bridge. It's too big a job for the city, and the city and county combined, so we're going to have to get some federal help."

Without that help, the mayor says he is worried that the thousands of cars that cross the Popps Ferry Bridge will add more wear and tear, and even worse, the bridge will get stuck open when hurricanes force evacuations.

Biloxi got $2 million in federal money to pay environmental and preliminary engineering studies for the new bridge.

It's estimated nearly 20,000 vehicles cross the Popps Ferry Bridge every day.

byMarcia Hill

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