Biloxi mayor proposes new gate at Keesler Air Force Base - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi mayor proposes new gate at Keesler Air Force Base

This is the dead end you see if you take Division Street to get to the Forest Avenue gate into Keesler Air Force Base. (Photo source: WLOX News) This is the dead end you see if you take Division Street to get to the Forest Avenue gate into Keesler Air Force Base. (Photo source: WLOX News)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Thursday, Biloxi Mayor FoFo Gilich announced a new committee he's formed to help find funding for a new gate at Keesler Air Force Base on Division Street.

City leaders said the proposed new gate would do a lot of good for Keesler Air Force Base and the city. Take the Division Street Exit off I-110 and you pass a myriad of businesses before the road dead-ends to Keesler Air Force Base.

City officials said the idea behind the proposed Division Street gate into Keesler is to help protect the base against future base closure and realignment commission or BRAC initiatives by providing better access, a more secure and better looking gateway.

"This project is about 10, 12 years old and with the idea that a natural entrance into Keesler right along, perpendicular to Forest Avenue," said Biloxi Mayor FoFo Gilich.

Gilich said a gate on Division Street would help boost economic development in the area. That's why Gilich has started a committee to help create the new gate.

"Senators and House of Representatives, MDOT and those folks and so we had 22 folks at this meeting. So we've covered all the grounds that we think identify what are the obstacles and each person was truly excited about this thing coming back alive," said
Gilich.

Now the mayor needs to identify the funding, look at what it would take to make it all happen and then devise a time table to move forward with it. Ultimately city leaders said the new gate would be a win-win for the city and the Air Force base by moving to towards becoming more BRAC proof.

"So Keesler's well situated right now because we have the medical outfit out there. We've got the flying mission with the Hurricane Hunters and the Flying Jennies and we're the headquarters for the Air Force's electronics training, but even with all of those things we have to do everything we can to make sure Keesler is a viable base," said city spokesperson Vincent Creel.

The project is estimated to cost between $28 and $30 million. The committee will meet next week to discuss the new gate.

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