Biloxi plans to close 6 railroad crossings to improve safety

Biloxi plans to close 6 railroad crossings to improve safety

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The city of Biloxi is reportedly moving forward with its plan to close six railroad crossings, but first, the city would need to build a new access road along the tracks.

The crossings set to close are focused in the eastern part of the city on Nixon Street, Holley Street, Iroquis Street, Dorries Street, Querens Ave, and Delauney Street.

Biloxi leaders began discussing the need to improve safety in Biloxi by eliminating crossings. That discussion gained more attention after a deadly tour bus and train collision that killed four travelers from Texas.

The tour bus became stuck on the tracks at the Main Street crossing March 7, 2017. Wednesday marks the one year anniversary of that tragedy. However, Main Street is not one of the crossings Biloxi plans to close.

Biloxi Chief Administrative Officer Mike Leonard says Biloxi will use federal money to pay for the road project. The city received a HUD CDBG grant for almost $700,000 to renovate the Saenger Theater.

After that project was reportedly discontinued, the city got HUD's permission to use the grant for the road project. Leonard says the goal is to get the design phase of this project completed by May, but building the first phase of the access road will take a year.

The access road will be built in phases, according to Leonard. The first access road will be built from Nixon Street to Holley Street. The second access road will run about two miles in length.

Leonard says the city still needs another $900,000 to complete the access road and close the crossings.

The city took bids for a contractor to build that access road and could award the bid as soon as next week.

Copyright 2018 WLOX. All rights reserved.