BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - This week's rainy forecast has slowed down work on Biloxi's multi-million dollar infrastructure project. Because of the weather, the city's Public Works Department has had to focus its attention on making sure ditches and catch basins were clear of debris and able to handle as much rainwater as possible.
The area has seen about 9 1/2 inches of rain since Sunday and more rain is expected throughout the weekend.
"The contractors say that every two days of rainfall causes five days of clean up, and unfortunately, we'll probably still have more rain by the weekend," said Acting Mayor Robert Deming. "With the massive volume of rainfall we've already seen, and the tremendous amount of work we have underway in Biloxi, particularly in east Biloxi, that's a lot of cleanup."
This week, crews were supposed to begin removing barricades on Highway 90 where they were staged for spring break events.
"Instead, we've been focusing on making sure we don't have re-occurring flooding in low-lying areas of the city," Deming said. "Our people are making sure the ditches and drainage pipes are flowing freely."
The weather has also delayed striping of Howard and Veterans Avenues, where the city is creating the first designated bike paths on a Biloxi municipal street.
Next week, contractors are scheduled to begin paving on Eighth Street and begin moving westward.
"What we're asking the public to do is please remember that virtually all of roadways in east Biloxi are a construction zone for the next 36 months. Please be careful, take your time, and if you see standing water on a street, by all means, take another route."
Biloxi is in the middle of upgrading water, sewer and drainage throughout the city using FEMA money. According to project officials, the estimated date of completion is late 2017.