Big news this week from the City of Gulfport where new road repair projects have already started. It took a few years, but city leaders have found a way to spend more than $20 million on major road improvements without raising taxes.
For years, Mill Road was one of the worst roads in Gulfport. Not anymore. The whole road was remade this week. Much of the thanks goes to Harrison County Supervisors for matching city funds.
But this is just one small part of a much bigger picture in Gulfport. It's taken more than three years, but city leaders are thrilled that they were able to get $10 million worth of city bonds to improve roads and now massive grants they've secured more than double that money without a single dime in tax increases.
"On 52 miles of road and 152 separate roads, it will get done in about eight months, if things go well," Mayor George Schloegel said. "About 116 of those roads will be done in six months because they don't require anything underneath the road in the way of infrastructure."
The more than $20 million will be spent on four big projects to widen Dedeaux, Three Rivers and Landon Roads along with 28th Street. In addition to those programs, we have $6.5 million for just flat out paving."
Councilmen Rusty Walker and R. Lee Flowers, who worked closely together on this huge project, say they did their research when deciding where to make improvements on Gulfport's 700 miles of roadways.
"Councilman Walker and I sat down and tried to determine how we could make sure we could have some roads paved," Flowers said. "This is for the entire city. It goes much farther north than just the railroad tracks. It goes all the way up into the northern parts of the city."
That means a smoother, safer ride and a more attractive city, not only for residents, but future investors.
"Economic development tool and it's a quality of life issue," Walker said.
And almost all of the contractors who were awarded bids for these projects are local businesses, like Warren Paving.
The more than $20 million of road improvements in Gulfport will be done within six months to a year and they ask for your patience. They will be going go door to door to notify residents when work is about to start in your area.
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