BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Dust and detour signs will inconvenience residents in some of Biloxi's oldest neighborhoods in the coming months, but city leaders say the long term benefit will make it all worthwhile.
We're talking about the City of Biloxi's $355 million infrastructure improvement project, which is bringing new streets and drainage to a large area from Interstate 110 all the way to Point Cadet.
Ward Two Councilman Felix Gines is excited to see the construction underway.
"Old historical Biloxi. It allowed them to get a makeover. Get their streets re-done," said Gines, as he walked down Reynoir just north of Division Street.
That makeover isn't pretty at the moment.
As heavy equipment ripped up a portion of Reynoir Street north of the tracks, another nearby work crew was busy replacing aging water pipes and sewer lines.
It's the culmination of a master plan that dates back to Hurricane Katrina.
"Of course you're going to get mixed feelings here. I think most of them are very happy that the work is started, and once the work is completed, then it opens everything up for businesses and also for more homes to come into the area," said Gines.
For now, it's dust, roadwork signs and temporary driveways as construction crews try their best to accommodate the folks who live and work here.
The construction zone might mean a few more steps for the mail carrier, as she zigzagged around the end loaders and back hoes.
Johnny Mays has lived on Reynoir going on three years. He thinks this work is worth it.
"We need this out here. When they get through and blacktop it over, it will be looking like a brand new road again," said Mays.
There will definitely be some inconvenience for neighbors as their streets are torn up and the water and sewer lines are replaced. However, Gines says it will be well worth the benefit in the long run.
He says all this street and drainage work points to progress and opportunity for this area.
"We're looking at it from a tourism standpoint. We're opening up ward two with construction of the baseball stadium. With all the new hotels and the possibility of coming in, it's going to open up this whole area, east side of Biloxi," said Gines.