The Bay St. Louis Harbor is becoming a reality - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

The Bay St. Louis Harbor is becoming a reality

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BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) -

Dredging is underway on the Bay St. Louis beach, paving the way for a long time dream to become a reality.

"This has been one of the projects that Bay St. Louis has had on its wish last for as long as I can remember, and I have been here all my life," Mayor Les Fillingame said.

The mayor couldn't be more excited to see phase one of the $22 million harbor in progress.

"If you look for me on any day, I'll probably be out here watching what's going on. So this will be my new office away from the office, to watch this thing come out of the water. Because this project is going to redefine what Bay St. Louis is."

The mayor believes connecting the city to the rest of the world by way of waterfront is the missing link to a booming downtown and one that will set Bay St. Louis apart.

"We have our water way out here that we have never had access to but by way of beach. And our beautiful little downtown community, once the harbor is in place and functional, there is no doubt in my mind that this will be the biggest destination for boating community, not only from the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but from Alabama and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin," Fillingame said.

The mayor isn't the only one excited. Lots of residents can be seen peering over the orange fence to catch a glimpse at the progress.

"We saw the heavy equipment and we are, of course, really interested in what's going to happen with the harbor," Jack O'Donnell said. "I mean, it's just so exciting."

"I think it will bring a lot more life to downtown," Leo Dibendedetto said.

And the effect, the mayor said, will be felt for generations to come.

"This is one of those projects that 20 to 25 years from now when people look at Bay St. Louis, they would not be able to imagine it without that harbor," Fillingame said.

Construction crews have until May 2014 to complete the harbor project, but the mayor predicts they may cut the red ribbon before then.

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