BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Six different Biloxi railroad crossings are being recommended for closure. This comes as part of the proposed Popp's Ferry Extension project. To extend Popp's Ferry Road to Highway 90 would require the installation of a few new railroad crossings, but to open crossings you must first close some.
At Tuesday's meeting, city leaders got their first look at a study done to determine which crossings should be closed.
Nixon Street, Holley Street, Iroquois Street, Keller Avenue, Dorries Street, and Querens Avenue have all been identified as crossings that can stand to be closed.
"The recommendations depend on if we get the funding for the Popp's Ferry crossing, and if we do not get the funding then no streets will close," said Councilman Felix Gines.
Until grant money comes down to extend Popp's Ferry Road, there's no timetable on when these crossings could close. But Mayor Gilich said it's best to be prepared.
"Both are not funded at this point and time, but when the funding takes place, we want to be able to move rapidly with identifying some locations that we would kind of push forward with regarding safety in mind," said Mayor Gilich.
A study prepared by Neel Schaffer looked at safety and distance to the next crossing. Of the 29 crossings, the ones identified were less traveled and had fewer warning signals than others.
"Some of these roads, if you cut off the neighborhood too much, the fire trucks take too long to get there. That's what you have to look at is the emergency vehicles," said Councilman George Lawrence.
One resident seemed to think the closures were a bad idea, especially with all of the ongoing road construction.
"I think if they close one part of the track to open up another part, I think it's going to create more chaos than it already is from people having to travel down roads that's already weakened," said Ray McIntyre.
The city council will hold a public workshop regarding the possible closures on March 21, immediately following its regular meeting.