HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - It has been more than a month since the Lorraine Road Bridge project got started. Over the weekend, progress slowed to a crawl because of the rising Biloxi River. Crews are picking back up where they left off and trying to stay on schedule.
In April, the site lit up with activity to build a new bridge.
"It's a good idea. It's about time they did it," said one driver.
Many are glad to see construction buzzing on the site. Those leading the progress say it has been a long time coming.
"We waited 12 years for this project," said Harrison County Supervisor Connie Rockco.
Businesses and residents along Lorraine Road are anxious to see something change to get relief from flood waters.
Millie Mason owns Daffy's right at the base of the current bridge. She said the waiting game has been even longer than a dozen years.
"When I bought the bar in 1984 in June, they told me then that they were going to straighten that bridge out," said Mason.
She's excited that the area will be seeing the construction, but not everyone is on board with the design.
"They're building a dam is what they're doing," said Leon Morgan.
Right now, test piles are being driven into the river bed to prepare for the permanent piles. Morgan, a long-time resident, isn't convinced that this approach is the answer.
"We didn't flood like this before the interstate was built. I think it's going to get worse after this is built," said Morgan.
He thinks dredging the river first would give the water the room it needs to flow without spilling over its banks. Rockco said that's not necessary.
"When we elevate the road, there won't be any more flooding in that area," she said.
Rockco said if all goes as planned, drivers should expect to see the old bridge shut down around September for about four months. This will allow further construction on the new span.
The $7.5 million project is a collaboration between Harrison County, Gulfport and Biloxi. The work is being carried out by L&A Contractors and is scheduled to be complete by the fall of 2016.
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