Port of Gulfport continues with tours - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Port of Gulfport continues with tours

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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Dozens of people lined up outside PJ's Coffee, waiting for a bus that would take them to tour the Port of Gulfport. Controversy has surrounded the port since it was built. Most people just want to get a look at it for themselves.

"When I saw it in the paper, it gave me the opportunity to come and tour the port, and find out more than just reading the paper to see it first hand," said Ruthie Lawrence.

With the expansion of the port came a promise that it would bring thousands of jobs to South Mississippi. Port Director Jonathan Daniels said job growth may be slow, but that doesn't mean it won't pick up.

"During the next year, we are going to deploy nearly $192 million in construction and equipment contracts. This is when you're really going to see the construction jobs pushing forward," said Daniels.

He feels that opening the port for tours will help to clarify any concerns citizens may have.

"Whether they're for or against the project, they certainly want to understand what is going on. This is our opportunity to be able to provide them with the facts, show them the progress that's been made and show them a little bit about what's going on in the inside."  

Those who took a group tour rode a bus through the port guided by port officials who spoke about what projects are currently happening and what they still have left to do.

"A lot of people need to come and find out what's going on in their community, and they really will appreciate it," said Lawrence.

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