Ocean Springs votes to move forward with sidewalk repairs

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The Ocean Springs Board of Aldermen voted to move forward with repairing an eroded section of sidewalk on Front Beach Drive as soon as possible. During the meeting on Wednesday night, city officials discussed several different options about what could be done to repair the sidewalk.

Mayor Connie Moran made it clear she wanted the sidewalk fixed as quickly as possible while several aldermen made it known they don't want this issue to happen again.

"I think the majority of the sidewalk is in good shape, but there are some areas where we're getting an awful lot of waterfall coming from the uplands areas through rainfall that's creating faster erosion. Those are the areas that we're very concerned about," said Alderman Matt McDonnell.

When the sidewalk was built two years ago, there were some concerns that building it on sand could cause problems. Now that a portion of the sidewalk has caved in, the board has decided on a solution to fix it.

"We're going to back fill it with sand to where it's not a safety issue. Then through the assistance of our engineer, hopefully we're able to get a good image of what's underneath that sidewalk to determine what other problems we may have," said McDonnell.

In order to do that, the board has asked the Brown, Mitchell and Alexander engineering firm to find a local company that has ground penetrating radar. That way they will be able to make a more educated decision as to whether more of the sidewalk has to been torn apart and reconstructed.

"The ground penetrating radar is only about a day or two of work in the field. It'll take overall about two or three weeks to get it scheduled and completed and get the information back," said Dax Alexander.

According to Moran, the Department of Marine Resources has agreed to help with up to $25,000 worth of repairs. That's only enough to fix the eroded portion. If results show that more work has to be done, McDonnell says they will have to look into using funds from a Fort Bayou project that has not started.

Another issue discussed at the meeting was whether or not to completely move that section of sidewalk back further from the water to prevent more erosion from happening. They will wait on ground penetrating radar results before making that decision.

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