South Mississippi's problem potholes - - The News for South Mississippi

South Mississippi's problem potholes


It's something every driver has probably faced: Potholes! There are those that pop up and get patched and those that seem to stick around for years as cars dodge and weave around them, only growing in size and aggravation.

We set out to find the worst pothole problems in South Mississippi with the hope of getting them fixed before they cause damage to your vehicle.

We sent out a call to our Facebook friends to help us find the worse potholes on South Mississippi's roadways. There were several comments about a "crater" off Canal Road in the city of Gulfport near the Flying J truck stop. Over in Biloxi, just west of Pine Street, was another "crater."

In Jackson County, viewers complained about streets in Gulf Park Estates and in Ocean Springs, Hanley Road sure was a bumpy ride. On Wilson Springs Road in Moss Point, we found a more than 6 foot wide, 7 foot long pot hole that's almost a half foot deep!

In Hancock County, the Kiln's Creekside Estates has some bad roads as well. But the most comments about a "rough road" were actually right outside our TV station doors, on DeBuys Road. In the less than half mile stretch from the south end of busy DeBuys Road at Highway 90 to Pass Road, we counted 81 potholes and patches.

One MGCCC Jeff Davis student who drives it every day said, "It's rough, it's very rough."

Another woman said, "It's like a constant up and down. It's pretty bad. It jerks every single time, the whole way down the road."

One young mom in a pickup truck said the patchwork and potholes she hits actually cause her family discomfort.

"Oh yeah, it just slams the kids up and down in the back seat every time we go down the road. But it's a road I have to go down every day."

But this is a tale of two cities, one side of DeBuys Road is Gulfport, but just a few steps over is Biloxi. So who is responsible for its maintenance?

Representatives from both cities and the county have been talking about this for about a year now. But Harrison County Road Engineer Russell Weatherly said it's much more complicated than just a re-paving job. It would include underground infrastructure improvements on sewerage, drainage and more.

"You've got to videotape underneath and see what the exact conditions are and get the estimate from there," Weatherly said. "Then we have upgrades as far as ADA with wheelchair accessibility at the curbs and striping upgrades, and we've got the railroad crossing to consider, too."

Gulfport Representative Ryan LaFontaine said, "We clearly see that there's a need to get the work done on DeBuys Road. You have three entities: The county, Biloxi and Gulfport that have to come together and get it done and I think we're all working towards that."

Biloxi Representative Vincent Creel said they are on the same page. "We agree, but it's all a matter of funding. Hopefully something's going to be able to be worked out between the city and the county and whatever other funding can be available. It's a matter of finding an equitable figure for all involved."

The price? About a half million. The task at hand now is finding the cash.

Harrison County Supervisor Connie Rockco told WLOX News, "Having the money at the same time, that's always a problem, and trying to get all three entities together. I hope it can be done within the year or the next year."

The 9,600 drivers who use this stretch of busy DeBuys Road each day don't think about how much work is needed or who is supposed to foot the bill. They just want it done.

A young driver said, "Between the potholes and the cracks in the road, it just needs to be reconstructed, to be honest."

Most cities will tell you to please call them and report where pesky potholes are in your neighborhood. The city of Gulfport even has a 24 hour phone system in place to report potholes, as well as other things like water and sewerage problems. If you're in the city of Gulfport, all you have to do is call 3-1-1.

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