Gulfport, Biloxi and Harrison County leaders must sign an agreement before plans to build a new Lorraine Road bridge can move forward.
Until a new bridge is completed, drivers will continue to rely on the old Lorraine Road bridge. You may remember that bridge was shut down for more than four months last year because of safety concerns, but after a few repairs it was re-opened, even with the leaning supports.
Several drivers said every time they take the bridge they worry about their safety.
"I'd be lying if I didn't say I get a little nervous or antsy crossing that bridge," James Scarborough said.
Another driver, Evelyn Garland, said, "I slow down every time I go across it because I'm worried about the traffic coming through."
But drivers admit the convenience of the bridge outweighs their concerns.
"It's handy for me because I come back and forth to my daughter's house," Garland said. "I do feel like it needs to be straightened out."
"For time sake, I definitely take it," Antoinette Nolan said. "That means I'm running behind time, so that's definitely a quick way to get across."
Gulfport, Biloxi and Harrison County leaders have agreed it is time for a new bridge and all three will split the cost, but the verbal agreement must now be put in writing.
"It's important that we are all on the same page," Gulfport Councilman R. Lee Flowers said. "We are moving forward with the project. Nothing happens overnight, unfortunately, but every little step matters."
Preliminary estimates for the project are nearly $10 million, but the three entities will only pay about $900,000. The rest will be paid for with grants and various other sources.
"It looks very favorable that right now entities will approve the agreement," Flowers said. "This is just another step underneath our belts. Then it is closer to completion, or at least starting the project."
Gulfport leaders will vote on the agreement Tuesday. If they sign the agreement, it will then move to Biloxi and Harrison County, leaders there said they expect it to be an easy yes from officials.
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