Biloxi officials brace for weekend traffic nightmare

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - If you have plans to travel through east Biloxi on Saturday night, you may want to consider an alternate route. Weekend events, paired with road closures, could present quite the headache for motorists.

East Biloxi will be swarming with cars and pedestrians on Saturday as Scrapin' the Coast and country music artist Darius Rucker come to town. Biloxi Public Affairs Manager Vincent Creel said Scrapin' the Coast is expecting around 20,000 registrants and spectators, which is the largest turnout it has seen yet.

Creel said Harrah's Gulf Coast gave away 40,000 free tickets to the Darius Rucker concert on Saturday evening, and they are expecting at least 15,000 concert goers to show up.

To compound the already heavy traffic problems, the Mississippi Department of Transportation will be closing Interstate 110 from 7 p.m. on Saturday to 9 a.m. on Sunday to demolish the Big Ridge Road Bridge.

"Three events are happening at the same time; 25,000 people for Scrapin', and 25,000 people estimated for the Darius Rucker concert. Any one or two events by themselves would be fine," said Biloxi police Capt. Bruce Johnson.

Johnson said law enforcement agencies from across Harrison County will be assisting with diverting traffic off Highway 90 to prevent a gridlock.

"To help with the issues, every Biloxi police officer will be working Saturday. The Harrison County Sheriff's department will also be helping, along with D'Iberville police, Gulfport police, Ocean Springs police and MDOT law enforcements," said Johnson. "To be honest, if people do not want to get caught in the sea of traffic, avoid Biloxi altogether that day."

Johnson said parking throughout the city will be limited and anyone illegally parked will be towed. He said there will be sign boards up telling people about traffic and parking.

Johnson said the number one fear of the Biloxi Police Department is pedestrians getting caught up in all the sights and sounds and not paying attention to traffic.

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