East Biloxi about to receive an extreme infrastructure makeover - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

East Biloxi about to receive an extreme infrastructure makeover

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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

One look around east Biloxi streets and you know they need work. There are potholes and standing water on just about every road as well as broken curbs and gutters. City officials say help is on the way.

"We're talking about replacing the water lines underneath the street, the sewer lines underneath the streets, all the utilities lines whether it's gas or whatnot, as well as the storm drains," said Biloxi Public Affairs Manager Vincent Creel.

For the owners of Le Bakery, that is good news.

"I definitely think that any improvement to this area would be great for business," owner Sue Nguyen-Torjusen said.

"Obviously we've had quite extensive damage throughout the years prior to Katrina as well as the impact of what Katrina has done."

That's the same feeling at Dynamic, where people brave bumpy roads to get a great look. Janice Brooks is a cosmetologist there.

"We need this development in our area because we've had nothing happen and done since Hurricane Katrina in east Biloxi and we need to grow a little bit more," Brooks said.

The challenge will be to keep as many roads open as possible while work is underway. There are other challenges as well, according to Creel.

 "It's in the oldest part of the city, so in a lot of cases the plans may show one thing but when you get under that road you may find something totally different," said Creel.

For business owners and the people who work in east Biloxi, they say the infrastructure program may lead to bigger and better things like more development in the future. For the people who live in east Biloxi, they simply say it's about time. That includes the Bennett family.

"We need it because it floods down here, and it's awful and the roads are torn up and it's awful," Carlotta Bennett explained.

"You know, your car repairs alone and tires, it's awful."

That feeling may soon disappear.

The project is being totally funded by FEMA using Katrina recovery grant money. City officials say bids on the work should go out next month, and the work could start about 30 days after that.

The work will be done in phases and will take about three years to complete.

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