By making bathroom breaks a little easier, the Coast Transit Authority hopes to create a tourism hotbed for a section of Biloxi beach. A new comfort station is going up on Highway 90 and Rodenburg Avenue. Wednesday, CTA met with contractors for a progress report.
Tourists are always welcome at Sharkheads Souvenir Shop even those who come in off the beach dripping wet and looking for a restroom.
"We have so many people coming in in their swimsuits, barefoot, sandy and that's a lot of clean up for the bathrooms," store employee Brittney Burt said.
When the Rodenburg Avenue comfort station opens, beach goers will be able to take bathroom breaks there instead of at nearby businesses. CTA officials said the comfort station could actually create an economic boost to the immediate area by attracting more tourists who may spillover into businesses.
"That area, it's going to be a big enhancement because there is a lot of foot traffic," said CTA Director Kevin Coggin. "A lot of tourists, a lot of hotels and restaurants. There is a lot of parking area. It's a high tourist area and that one is a really good location to build it and will be one of the highest used units that we have. Probably second to the Coliseum station."
Officials said so far the Coliseum, Courthouse Road, Jones Park and Long Beach Harbor comfort stations have proved much easier to maintain than the pre-Katrina facilities.
"The others had a lot of wood, a lot of siding on them. They were high maintenance," Coggin said. "We were continually having to spend money to renovate them every four or fives years."
Officials said going to fewer but better beachfront facilities in the long run will save a lot of money.
"We have five world class beach facilities down there now that will survive severe storms," Coggin said. "We won't have to keep spending the taxpayers' money to go down there every time there is a little tropical storm and do repairs. So being a lot more responsible with the taxpayers' dollars. "
CTA officials said the Rodenburg Avenue comfort station is slated to open in June.
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