HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Numerous sections of concrete sidewalks along Highway 90 that were completely rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina will have to be repaired or replaced once again. Hurricane Isaac caused extensive damage to many areas, mainly on the west end of Harrison County.
On Monday, MDOT started assessing the damage. Using a measuring wheel, a crew from the Mississippi Department of Transportation started tracking the length of damaged sidewalks. They found plenty to count all along the south side of Highway 90.
"It is extensive damage, especially in Pass Christian and Long Beach," said MDOT Area Engineer Gabe Faggard. "It's going to take a good bit of work to remove what has been damaged, as well as replace it."
That work includes tearing out the broken and buckled concrete, and filling in sections that have washed away. Faggard expects the repairs to be expensive.
"Just basically looking at what we have out on the ground now, you're looking somewhere between $1 million to $2 million to repair the sidewalks alone."
Faggard blames the mess on the persistent pounding from Hurricane Isaac's storm surge.
"A combination of storm surge and the wave action associated with that storm surge undermined the sidewalks," he said. "You've got movement of water, which pulls sand out from under the sidewalk causing settlement, as well as it's completely washed out. We've seen settlement as much as two to three feet in some areas. Where it was once leveled with the curb, it's dropped considerably."
The damage assessment should wrap-up Tuesday. MDOT will submit its report to FEMA and the Federal Highway Administration, hoping to get emergency funding to start putting back the pieces that Isaac tore apart.
If federal funding is approved soon, MDOT engineers expect to start the repairs within two months.