D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Dr. Moby Solangi told WLOX last week, he wants the city to buy more land so the aquarium could be moved away from a new interstate off-ramp under construction.
Now, he wants to draft Navy Scientists for advice before putting construction crews to work.
When I first talked with Solangi about the delay in turning this empty land into his dream aquarium, he said he'd be meeting with D'Iberville leaders soon.
That meeting did take place, and Solangi didn't want to do another interview. City Manager Bobby Eleuterius says Solangi remains worried the new Interstate 10 off ramp leading to Interstate 110 comes too close to the aquarium.
Solangi now wants scientists to weigh in.
"He wants to do an acoustical study and is going to have the United States Navy do the study for him. It would take about a week to get them together and possibly two to three weeks at the very most to complete," said Eleuterius.
That study would determine whether the traffic on I-110 would affect the dolphins from vibration.
If the study finds highway traffic would be detrimental to dolphins, Solangi wants to reposition the aquarium. That would take buying another $2 million in property.
Since the city bought the current tract for the project, Solangi wants D'Ibeville to buy more land.
"We can't go any further until we know what the study is going to determine," said Eleuterius.
That's not the only sticking point. Eleuterius says Solangi's plan to build a $15 million Ocean Expo would be a losing proposition for the city. @
"We all agree that a $15 million project would not suffice on the amount of property we purchased to be able to pay off the debt service on that. He says that would be phase one. There would be an additional amount of money to put a phase two which would be upwards to $50 million."
The City of D'Iberville wants to move forward as quickly as possible and hopefully after the vibration study is completed, the aquarium project can get off the ground.
WLOX will have an update after the study is completed.