Business owners say East Biloxi roadwork putting them out of bus - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Business owners say East Biloxi roadwork putting them out of business

Some business owners worry they won't make it if construction doesn't end soon. (Photo source: WLOX News) Some business owners worry they won't make it if construction doesn't end soon. (Photo source: WLOX News)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Business owners in East Biloxi are unsure if they can survive roadwork now that contractors say it could be a year before crews complete the work.

In order to bring $118 million in new water and sewer to the area of East Biloxi north of the railroad tracks, crews are tearing up streets. Included in that roadwork is Division Street, which is a major thoroughfare. However, business owners say now days fewer people traveling their way.

Customers who stop by Jasmine's for a po-boy and bubble tea instead find a sign that the restaurant is closed indefinitely due to road construction. Owners say just when the business was starting to take off, the roadwork got underway; costing them customers.

"We realize that it takes awhile to get the roads and everything finished but it seems like it's taken a little too long," said Marlon Fields, a friend of the owners. "They had to close. Their profits are none now. Business is zero and they're just wondering when everything is going to come back on line so they can get their business opened back up." 

Roadwork is also cutting into the profits at Marcus Williams' barber shop on Division Street. 

"The roads hurt their vehicles. Puts a lot of wear and tear on your vehicle," said Williams. 

Even customers admit that if Williams wasn't a good barber and a good friend, they probably would stop coming. 

"People don't want to come through here because the road is too messed up. It's tearing up their car," said Larry Wilborn. 

If the roadwork doesn't start moving faster, some people say they're not sure everyone will make it.

"These little small mom and pop business, No. No," Fields said. "All your overhead, no profit. Your business can't run itself so you shut down."

Some residents say they are upset that so many roads in this area are under construction at one time so they have few choices for detours. According to the project manager, paving on Division Street will start in the Spring.        

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