Gilich promises different approach to south infrastructure contract

Gilich promises different approach to south infrastructure contract

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The next phase of the Biloxi infrastructure project is getting closer to starting south of the railroad tracks. Mayor FoFo Gilich promises it won't present the same headaches that the north contract did.

Gilich has been hearing a constant string of complaints about east Biloxi's infrastructure contract north of the railroad. He says he can see why.

"All 55 miles of roads were torn up at one time," said Gilich.

This was the approach taken by the contracting company over the project, Oscar Renda. Now, the next big phase is staring down a busy section of the city.

Joyce Kotulski lives in that section, south of the tracks. She's been watching the north contract play out, and she's hoping the approach for this contract is better planned.

"I think they should do it in shorter sections than they did before. That was way too much for those people," said Kotulski.

According to Gilich, Kotulski's strategy is the answer - smaller sections at a time, and one section must be 75 percent complete before work begins on the next one.

Making the infrastructure project run with less issues was a campaign promise for Gilich.

"My motto was, if it's stupid, we're not going to do it. So, we logically attacked on what mistakes were made," said Gilich.

The impacts of the original construction decisions are still being felt as the north contract gets closer to completion.

"People are suffering right now; you've got to go this way and that way. It's senseless," said Norman Lewis while standing on the edge of construction on Division Street.

The mayor is hoping that a new approach to the south contract will make a world of difference. This time the promise is for the contractor set to work on the upcoming phase.

"If you don't do what you're supposed to do in the time frame you're supposed to do it, then the money starts running and you are fined," said Gilich.

The south contract will be divided into three main sections, which will be further divided into subsections. The first main section will be an 800 day contract and work could begin during the first part of 2018. Oscar Renda did not submit bids for the south contract.

The north contract is expected to be wrapped up by the end of 2018.

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