BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi City council members approved the purchase of the final piece of property needed to build Keesler Air Force Base's newest gate. The move is part of a $37 million project to move Keesler's main gate on White Avenue to Forrest Avenue and Division Street in Biloxi.
The final property on Forrest Avenue was purchased by the city for just over $24,000.
This means by the end of the week, the city will advertise for bids for Phase 1 of the project, which includes building a new road from Forrest Ave. inside Keesler that will link up to Larcher Blvd., the main drag inside the base.
The project has been a goal of the city and Keesler for years, nearly all of the funding is now in place. The new gate will improve security for Keesler and move the entrance out of the way of the railroad tracks at White Ave.
The groundbreaking is expected for April. The entire project will take 18 months to complete. To make the process move faster the city and Keesler reached an agreement for the city to bring the road into the base. The city is using grant money from MDA. Keesler Air Force Base will have to build its new visitor control center on base.
Biloxi Mayor Gilich is in Washington, DC this week for a national mayors' conference. The final bits of the gate funding will be one of the things he will discuss with the Mississippi Congressional delegation.