Biloxi Residents Speak Out Against North-South Corridor - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/10/05

Biloxi Residents Speak Out Against North-South Corridor

Hundreds of South Mississippians met Tuesday night to discuss plans for a controversial North-South connector. About 240 Biloxi residents packed the Ward 6 meeting.

The center of controversy - a proposed path for a North-South corridor that cuts through the Biloxi ward.

"I imagine I'm not the only one in the auditorium that bought or improved property whose value is going to be adversely affected by this project," one resident said.

Mississippi's Department of Transportation Commissioner Wayne Brown tried to address residents' questions and concerns. Many left the meeting feeling little was accomplished.

"The poor gentleman couldn't answer the questions because those are political policy questions. And what's happened here is our political structure isn't addressing the needs of the people. What people are wanting to know here is how do we stop this?" Dr. Greg Garcia asked.

Under the project, 178 residents would be displaced and many fear they won't get a fair price for their property.

"The property value decrease really is what bothers most of us. If they're going to buy our property, it's one thing. You get your money, you can move on. But if you're going to have to live there with the noise and the depreciation of your property that you've owned for years, I feel sorry for those people," Ward 6 resident Liz Joachim said.

In addition to the 178 residents Brown said would be removed, he told the crowd 33 households would be affected by noise from the new corridor and 20 businesses would be displaced.

Work isn't set to begin for another few years, but until then, it's apparent a lot more questions will have to be addressed.

by Toni Miles

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