East Biloxi roadwork making progress

East Biloxi roadwork making progress

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Dust and detours continue to irritate drivers in East Biloxi as work continues on the city's massive infrastructure improvement project.

Work crews are not only building new roads, but also replacing aging water and sewer lines.

The good news is the $122 million project has passed the halfway mark. Project manager Joel Murrah tells WLOX News Now it's 52 percent complete.

Still, this massive improvement project that began in August of 2014 won't be finished until the fall of 2018.

Marilyn Bullock will be happy when that day arrives. Currently, the price of progress is frustration.

"Then you block roads you can't get through halfway. You've got to go all the way around. Find another way to get to your kids. Your kids can't even come from the bus stop. The buses got to go a whole other route to get to those kids," Bullock explained.

With so much of East Biloxi a construction zone, it is difficult to navigate.

"I get frustrated, because if I call for a ride and tell them what street I'm on, they get lost, because they have to go different ways," said Sharonda Bolton.

"It's very time sensitive, and they've done had enough time. I think they should stop tearing up all the roads but not finish fixing the first ones. Why tear up all the roads all at one time," Latisha Jimerson said.

Murrah said lead contractor Oscar Renda originally planned on working one section at a time, but they ran into unexpected design issues. That meant either halt the work or let the crews move on to another area.

Many residents say one of their biggest complaints is all that dust. Even though the road crews are doing their best to water down the roadways and keep the dust at a minimum, it doesn't seem to help that much.

"I have to change my air conditioner, the filters in my air conditioner, every week on account of the dust," said Orlee Ramsey.

"I've got bad sinuses and all this dust and all this dirt coming up, and it's not getting no better," said Bullock.

Paving work will likely begin next month on Bayview Ave. and a portion of Division St.

Renda is the lead contractor with another six subcontractors involved with the work. Each day, at least 150 construction workers are assigned to various portions of the East Biloxi project.

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