Biloxi infrastructure project still a mess

Biloxi infrastructure project still a mess
Council leaders say they are fed up with the progression of the project. (Photo source: WLOX News)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Much of East Biloxi remains a mix of gravel, asphalt and dust. Between delays in construction and potential funding issues, everyone's wondering what's going on with the Biloxi infrastructure project.

In Tuesday's council meeting, Council President Felix Gines vowed not to approve any change order requests on the project until he got some answers.

"Our roads are actually worse than the country roads," Gines said.

Gines says he's fed up with the progression of the Biloxi infrastructure project.

"I believe it's a lack of communication — We have the construction workers, we have the engineers, and in between we have the project managers, and I don't believe everyone is on the same page," Gines said.

Project manager Tony Morrow claims the city owes his company $6 million in back payments dating back to July, but agrees there needs to be a meeting.

"All parties need to come to the table and discuss this," Morrow noted. "Everything spider webs out and is connected. We have to tear up a larger area and then start building back up from that central location," Morrow said.

And according to Morrow that's not the only reason the roads still look they way they do.

"We had an engineering error where water mains that were already laid and installed and active had to be removed and replaced due to some storm drain designs that were erroneous," he said.

Gines also points fingers at the engineers.

"I'm not voting for anything unless i know the engineering process is done correctly so the construction workers can get out there and get this done," Gines said.

According to the city, it wasn't that the engineers miscalculated. Leaders say when crews dug into the ground, what they found was very different than the records that they had on file.

"The biggest issue is the water lines and the storm drains are not in the same place they were told, because they were prepared generations ago," said City of Biloxi Public Affairs Manager Vincent Creel.

Residents and business owners in the area say they want to be kept in the loop about the project.

"The most frustrating thing is they aren't telling the people anything," said Robert Harris, who manages a barbershop in east Biloxi.

Moving forward, the mayor has decided to hold weekly meetings with the parties involved in the construction here on out so everyone will be on the same page.

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