BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - William and Shirley Windham first contacted me in April of 2013. The retired school teachers said a lift station project that began in 2011 had stalled for about a year.
They, along with other homeowners, were upset because the lift station was built between two homes in the neighborhood. They say the lift station could have been built on empty land just two blocks away.
At the time, their biggest concern was a huge pit that had filled with smelly, dirty water. The pit was about 20 feet deep. Residents feared that children could fall in and drown.
Fast forward 15 months later, and the project is still underway. Philip DeFrances, Project Manager for S.H. Anthony, says the lift station faced a number of hurdles.
"Some of the issues we ran into here, some water that was encountered that was unforeseen," said DeFrances. "There were a few design issues that we encountered. We actually got over those humps and figured those things out. It's now on the downhill slope."
DeFrances says workers must set the lift station pumps, set up a flow meter, erect a new permanent fence and apply epoxy coating and limestone.
"Once we finish the electrical, four to six weeks, we'll be out of here," said DeFrances.
Windham said that's great news and everyone will feel a sense of relief.
"I will, and I know the whole neighborhood will because it's bothering everyone," said Windham.
She says once the construction stops, she's going to have some repairs.
"We'll have to do a lot of new flooring, because it shook the old houses and shook a lot of our appliances," said Windham.
Though the lift station is nearing completion, that doesn't mean it will be in service.
"When we get done, the actual project will not be in use until the new system is tied into it from the south," said DeFrances.
I contacted Harrison County Utility Authority Director Donald Scharr who says Biloxi is working on a FEMA related project that will tie into the lift station. Once that project is completed, the lift station will be operational.
Biloxi City Engineer Damon Torricelli says the city hopes to begin construction on the project south of the lift station on Highway 90 sometime in January.