Funding to run out for east Biloxi infrastructure project - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Funding to run out for east Biloxi infrastructure project

2015 marks year one of the project scheduled to be completed in 2018. (Image Source: WLOX News) 2015 marks year one of the project scheduled to be completed in 2018. (Image Source: WLOX News)
Residents say they are aggravated by the torn up roads. (Image Source: WLOX News) Residents say they are aggravated by the torn up roads. (Image Source: WLOX News)
By February, the city will run out of funding for the project. (Image Source: WLOX News) By February, the city will run out of funding for the project. (Image Source: WLOX News)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

It’s only year one of a three year project that has roads in east Biloxi torn apart, but some residents aren't impressed with the work they've seen so far. 

“Every time you walk somewhere you get dirty muddy and tons of holes. I about broke my foot in a hole the other day,” said east Biloxi Diana Maricich.

Residents say they've been inconveniently battling the dust, dirt and construction for months.

“I know it's necessary, but I think they could have gone about this a different way, just did it in phases. They don't have to do it one street at a time, but do it in phases. Not the entire city,” said James Grace.

City officials are well aware of frustrations. City Spokesman Vincent Creel has gone on record numerous times about the severity of this project, but now the city is facing a different issue.

“The big challenge that we're looking at right now is, we're going to be running out of this funding, the federal funding for our project manager, we're expecting that to run out by February,” City of Biloxi Public Affairs Manager, Vincent Creel.

The project, which is funded by FEMA money, is estimated to cost $355 million , but by February that money will be gone. For the past year, Creel says the city has been asking FEMA for more money, but the answer has been no.

“The big challenge that Mayor Gilich and the city council have now is that they're going to have to negotiate with HNTB to see if they can get a dramatically lower price,” said Creel.

If HNTB does not extend their contract with the city and lower their price, Creel says the city will have to hire new inspectors. These are all problems Creel is confident the city can solve.

“Quite frankly the city doesn't have that kind of money. We feel like we didn't put ourselves in this position, but we're going to have to work out of it,” said Creel.

The project is expected to be completed in 2018.

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