Biloxi preparing for what could be deplorable traffic conditions

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - This time of year, it's usual to see a spike in visitors and traffic here on the coast. This weekend may prove to be above and beyond what we've seen in the past, because of multiple events descending on the coast at the same time.

Sam Sneed and his wife are visiting from Atlanta. While heavy traffic is the norm for them, being in unknown territory is not.

"That could make a difference, trying to figure out where to go and how to get out of here," said Sneed.

They plan to leave Saturday to go back home. If they don't time it right, they could be in for the traffic jam of a lifetime. The congestion will start Friday when Scrapin' the Coast kicks off, but that is the usual part. Saturday is when the real trouble will start. That's when Darius Rucker comes to Harrah's Gulf Coast to perform for at least 15,000 people.

"If it goes the way we think it is, it probably will be as bad as I've ever seen it," said Capt. Bruce Johnson, with the Biloxi Police Department.

According to Johnson, Saturday night will see a perfect storm of activity. While Rucker is playing for 15,000 people on the east end of town, Scrapin' will draw 20,000 on the west end. Then, to complicate matters more, Interstate 110 will be closed for the Big Ridge Road Bridge to be demolished. Johnson said these events were not planned to coincide on purpose.

"It was three separate events planned, and they really have very little wiggle room to move any of them," said Johnson.

Johnson knows that life has to go on as normal. To do that, Biloxi police are asking for back up from surrounding agencies. D'Iberville Deputy Police Chief Clay Jones said his officers are ready.

"You know, it is what it is. The problem now is we've just got to evolve around it and make sure our citizens are safe," said Jones.

Jones said it's just like any other similar situation. Safety is a must, especially when it comes to the officers directing the traffic.

"Just use some patience with them," said Jones.

Ocean Springs police will also be on board trying to divert traffic north to Interstate 10 on Washington Avenue.

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