BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi believes a plan to connect Popps Ferry from Pass Road to Highway 90 would go a long way toward improving traffic flow.
The idea is to move traffic from the intersection of Popps Ferry Road down to Highway 90. Currently motorists have to travel Pass Road to Beauvoir and deal with an inconvenient intersection.
The new four-lane boulevard would allow traffic to move past the old Walmart, cross the CSX tracks, and eventually connect to Oakmont Place between the coliseum and the Quality Inn at Highway 90.
Craig High, project manager with Neel-Schaffer, says the $12 million project has cleared some hurdles.
"I would say we're probably at about 30 percent. We've done the environmental document which has to be done when you use Department of Transportation dollars. That's been completed. We're now moving into the 30 percent design," said High. "That will get us to the point where we take the plans to MDOT. Then we'll have a field review. That will happen in the next two months."
A new entrance near the convention center is a key component in the plan. It would allow people access to the coliseum and convention center, and be a big part of the center's plans to build a hotel on the property.
A total of $6.5 million is already appropriated for the project. Biloxi, MDOT, and the coliseum would have to work together to complete the financing package.
Dealing with CSX along with acquiring homes and right away means the project still has a long way to go.
"We're probably looking at the end of 2019 before we finalize plans, buy all the right of way, and move into construction," High noted.
The Coliseum Commission purchased the old Holiday Inn property on Highway 90, west of the property to prepare for the project.
The Commission has also bought several homes on Oakmont Place.