Biloxi mayor pitches plan to keep sand off Hwy. 90

Biloxi mayor pitches plan to keep sand off Hwy. 90
Biloxi Mayor Fofo Gilich (left) shows seawall plans to WLOX News now anchor Dave Elliott (Photo source: City of Biloxi)
Biloxi Mayor Fofo Gilich (left) shows seawall plans to WLOX News now anchor Dave Elliott (Photo source: City of Biloxi)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi Mayor FoFo Gilich has pitched a plan to help keep sand from blowing onto Hwy. 90 while creating a boardwalk that runs along the seawall.

Gilich said it's time to come up with some new ideas to fight the sand issue, and he's working with university engineering programs on a bold proposal.

"There's a definition of insanity; doing something over and over again and expecting a different result," said Gilich.

Keeping sand off Hwy. 90 is a never-ending battle. It's a mess, and it's costly. The mayor is working with engineers to install prefabricated concrete on the seawall from the small craft harbor down to Kuhn St.

According to Gilich, the plan would create a boardwalk that would offer recreational opportunities and serve as a buffer to keep sand where it belongs, on the beach.

The mayor likens the technology to Legos. The segments would fit together from about the fifth step of the nine-step seawall and extend over the beach. He also says it's efficient.

"I will do a couple of things. It'll give you a foot and a half more protection for wind and sand events, as well as do the tourist things, recreational components, and also could do it in about 100 feet a day," Gilich said.

Biloxi has reached out to scientists from USM, Mississippi State, and Rice University and challenged them to design an effective system.

"It's a science project. We're going to engage some graduate students working on their PhD. They'll measure the seawall where it is relative to sea level on the steps," Gilich said.

Biloxi will have to sell this idea to the Harrison County Board of Supervisors and the Sand Beach Authority. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will also have to sign off on the viability of building the 10-foot wide concrete boardwalk coming off the existing seawall.

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