One costly item remains for MGM Park

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - When Biloxi put together the financial package to build MGM Park, city leaders promised taxpayers they would stay within the $36 million budget.

Now, the city is scrambling to honor the commitment with the baseball stadium nearing completion, and one costly piece of the puzzle remaining.

A crossover between the garage at Beau Rivage and the new garage adjacent to the stadium has always been a part of the project's scope. While the garage is for Beau Rivage employees, the walkway is designed to give the public safe passage across Highway 90.

However, the pedestrian structure carries a $2 million price tag.

As WLOX News first reported,  The Mississippi Department of Transportation secured a federal grant totaling $1.6 million, or 80 percent of the cost  for the walkway. Law requires that the remaining 20 percent, or $400,000, must come from another source.

Biloxi residents are hoping the city won't have to pick up the tab.

"The Governor's office has provided a grant opportunity for us. We've executed the grant process. That's where the match will come from. It was part of the money that helped pay for part of the stadium. They had a little left over and we tapped into that for the walkover," according to Biloxi CAO David Nichols.

Additionally, there is some discussion about exactly where the walkover would be built.  MDOT received the grant under the stipulations that the elevated crossing was needed for public safety and that the public has access so Biloxi must follow certain guidelines when determining the location.

"It'll start at the red light at Beau Rivage at Caillavet Street. It will go at an angle across highway 90 and land into the plaza," said Nichols.

Now, the $2 million question remains — When will the walkway be built?

"It's a 9 month to 12 month project so hopefully by this time next year we'll have a crossover," Nichols said.

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