The Courthouse Road construction project is not quite halfway finished yet.
Until now, all most people have seen is a big mess.
“It’s a construction site,” said Andy Phelan, owner of Pickering, the company contracted by the city of Gulfport to oversee the project. “It’s dirty, it’s messy, but in the end, it will be worth it.”
But, higher above, the signs of progress are much nicer.
Aesthetic lighting is near completion.
Soon, residents will begin to see curbs and gutters going in.
“It just needed an upgrade,” Phelan said. “It’s not the prettiest road in Gulfport and hopefully it will be in another, seven, eight, nine months.”
Courthouse Road is about 120 years old so there has been a few surprises. But officials say so far, they’re pretty much on schedule and on budget.
“We’ve found all kinds of unexpected utilities; all kinds of unexpected things buried in the ground; different design changes had to be made,” Phelan added. “Sometimes things don’t transfer from paper to construction sites, so there’s been a lot of field changes.”
The most pleasant experience, he says, has been with the businesses.
“That’s the one real pleasant thing I’ve seen is these business owners have just been absolutely accommodating,” he said. “I expected more resistance, more complaints, more things like that but, you know, they're taking a hit.”
Raeanne Ryan is owner of Travel Affiliates.
“I think it’s going to have a wonderful character - the fact that it goes out to the beach and that beautiful fishing pier and so forth there as well,” she said. “It was a good place before, and I think it will be again.”
Many residents in the East Park subdivision that lines the road seem to understand growing pains.
“It’s been a little bit of an inconvenience but, they’re doing what they have to do,” said Christina Engle. “And the workers have just been amazing and courteous and you know, if we need to get out, they stop working and doing what they’re doing and they let us out and it’s not really been that bad.”
Phelan said that while there is no set end date, he is shooting for completion by the end of summer.