Trucking Company Owners Want Road Repaired - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/04/05

Trucking Company Owners Want Road Repaired

Owners of several Gulfport trucking companies are upset with the city.

A street used by truckers for direct access to Highway 49 was closed for sewer repairs several weeks ago. Trouble is, after the city closed the road, they apparently never started the repair work.

"Almost a month. Over three weeks."

Warren Isaac says that's how long 33rd Street has been closed just east of his trucking company. And that's a problem for his business and several others. Truck drivers normally use the street for direct access to nearby Highway 49.

"I just don't think we're getting help from the city to get this thing fixed. We don't like going through school zones and a lot of congestion that we don't have to. And any way you go out of here you have to go through a school zone," said Isaac.

Truckers must now detour around the closure. And that means cutting through often busy school zones.

Jason Baudier manages a trucking company called Crates & Freighters.

"It's a huge inconvenience. And it's just not safe. And the city's really not given us an answer. And they haven't done any work other than blocking off the street," said Baudier.

The business owners say it's more than just the inconvenience of adding an extra few minutes of travel time. Driving 18 wheelers through school zones or residential areas also increases their liability.

"It's unsafe the way I see it. Having to go through school zones and residential section," said Isaac.

Gulfport's public works director says the road was closed for safety reasons, with fears the area around the damaged sewer line may collapse. Kris Rieman says because the repair was too big to handle in house, the city had to hire Kappa Construction. Rainy weather delayed the work, which Rieman says should be finished by the end of next week.

That's welcome news for the truck companies.

"If the city will just come out here and fix this thing, that's all we're asking," said Isaac.

By Steve Phillips 

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