BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Popp's Ferry Causeway Park in Biloxi is open for all to enjoy. Over the years, the area just west of the Popp's Ferry Bridge has been decimated by storms, including Hurricane Katrina.
The pier that opened just a day before Katrina hit was damaged, but that wasn't the only problem. The road was full of pot holes and the seawall was in pieces. Some people would still go down there, but it wasn't a very attractive place.
Now, things have changed dramatically.
The roadway is newly paved, and the 400 foot pier that overlooks the marsh has been repaired. There is also a concrete promenade that stretches for 1,700 feet along the water. Several steel park benches line the promenade, and street lights illuminate the whole area.
We found Charles Williams of Gulfport enjoying the park one recent morning.
"It is real nice back here, they fixed it up real nice," Williams said with a smile. He had been there for a few hours, and already snagged several fish.
"The biggest response we are getting is, 'Hey, it is beautiful, but what took so long?'" said Biloxi Public Affairs Manager Vincent Creel said.
The park was scheduled to open months ago, but there were problems.
"Whenever we started doing this project, there were some things you could not see until you opened that roadway up," Creel said.
Now, all those problems are in the past. The park is a place that the city and the community can be proud of for years to come.
There are also plans to add a phase two. Creel said the city is hoping to get a grant from BP to help pay for the work. There is no timetable for that work.
Phase one came with a price tag of about $1 million, which was paid for with federal, state and local money.