Weekend I-10 shutdown could affect businesses

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The old Highway 67 overpass has to come down, and that means busy Interstate 10 won't be busy at all this weekend. A detour will take traffic miles away from the stores that populate the Cedar Lake Road exit.

At the Shell station, drivers flock in, attracted by the $2.99 gas. They also shop at the convenience store. That may change Saturday night. Valerie Lizana is a cashier at the store.

"I expect the business to go down, especially with all the travelers. So yeah, it's probably going to cut it off a great deal," Lizana said.

At the Liquor Locker, I-10 may be closed Saturday night but the store will be open, at least until 10 p.m. Customers may be few and far between though, according to owner Mark Mosley.

"Well, we do get a lot of business off the interstate, and I would hope that it wouldn't affect us but of course it probably will. Saturday night is a busy night for us and I just hope that people can find an alternate route to get here," Mosley said.

At the Sonic, hungry customers skate in off the interstate looking for a bite to eat. What happens when the shutdown puts the wraps on that activity?

"It's going to slow us down quite a bit, but other than that, it shouldn't be too bad," Assistant Manager Zachary Leger explained.

"Saturday night is a pretty good night and that's where we get a good bit of our majority business. It's going to hurt us a pretty good bit."

Meanwhile, I spoke with the Biloxi city councilman who represents this district. He says he's been contacted by business owners about their concerns about the closing, but there's not much he can do. Councilman Robert Deming is hoping for the best though.

"Personally, as a business owner, it's a tough pill to swallow for them. However, I'm sure that MDOT decided based off of work schedules, traffic schedules what's going to have the least impact on the community as a whole," Deming said.

Business owners can only hope the impact will be over with quickly.

Earlier this week, officials with the Mississippi Department of Transportation told us they have conducted several traffic studies over the past few weeks. Based on that information, the Saturday night into Sunday morning time frame for the shutdown was judged to be the least disruptive.

I-10 will be closed between Highway 605 (Exit 38) and I-110 (Exit 46) on Saturday, February 8 from 7:00 p.m. until Sunday, February 9 at approximately 9:00 a.m.

The following detours will be in place for traffic traveling through the area:

-Traffic passing through on I-10 westbound will take Exit 46B and travel 11 miles north on Highway 67. The detour will then take traffic to Highway 605 south traveling 8 miles back to I-10.

-I-10 Eastbound will take Exit 38 and travel 8 miles on Highway 605 North. The detour will then take traffic to Highway 67 South and travel 11 miles back to I-10.

The following detours will be in place for local traffic:

-From Biloxi to I-10 Eastbound, take I-110 to Exit 4A.

-From Biloxi to I-10 Westbound, take Highway 90 West to Highway 605 (Lorraine Rd.) North to I-10 West.

-From I-10 Westbound to Biloxi, take Exit 46A to I-110 South.

-From I-10 Eastbound to Biloxi, take Exit 38 to Highway 605 South to Highway 90 East.

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