PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A popular recreational, fishing and boating area in Pascagoula is now moving into the second phase of improvements. The city has more than $3 million in Community Development Block grants to makeover Lowry Island. Pascagoula leaders said the goal is to improve the quality of life for all residents.
Lowry Island, known as River Park to many in Pascagoula, will soon get another major overhaul.
"It is an area right on the riverfront that we want to exploit as we go forward. It complements the other riverfront developments that we are developing in our long term Pascagoula Plan," Mayor Jim Blevins said.
Millions in grant funding will be used to do the work. The first phase of improvements is already done.
"Phase one included the renovations of the pier that was burned a few years ago. We had an accidental fire," Recreation Director Darcie Crew said.
Now it's on to the second phase of the facelift, which will help change the look of the area.
"What you see behind me will be completely renovated. The asphalt that is in place will be removed. The road will be reconstructed, and there will be green space to the river. We will move parking back toward the road area, so that our residents and visitors can enjoy festivals and events that take place right here on the river," Crew said.
City leaders said future improvements will also allow for new businesses to set up shop here.
"We are also going to install a new fuel depot. We have a developer interested in installing new dry dock boat storage, recreational facilities with some commercial sites for restaurants and retail businesses. This could turn out to be a hidden gem for Pascagoula," Blevins said.
Both Blevins and Crew believe the island enhancement plans will give locals something to enjoy and will also attract visitors to the area.
"We want people in Pascagoula to stay here, to shop here to do their business here, and we also want tourists to come to Pascagoula to enjoy all the different activities and businesses that we have," Blevins said.
City leaders said they will open bids for the project at the end of the month.
They are expecting to begin construction on the second phase of the project in June and finish by the end of the year.