Someday, Nona Balius may look out her bakery window and see a new north south road cutting through the western edge of the Biloxi V.A. "It could be a good thing for the business I suppose," she said. "Easy for people to get in and out."
After three years of talk and analysis, the Mississippi Department of Transportation has narrowed its north south road choices in Biloxi to five. According to MDOT engineer Claiborne Barnwell, "The bottom line is that we are ecstatic that we've gotten this far with the study and we actually are on the verge of finding a place to locate this road."
MDOT held a meeting with the Biloxi City Council and Biloxi's citizens corridor committee on Thursday. Engineers said the two most likely north south scenarios do what some neighborhood signs suggest. They save Hiller Park.
One route starts at I-10 and Cedar Lake, the other at Woolmarket and the interstate. Once they reach the back bay, both routes go south. They clip the VA and some Keesler Air Force base homes. But they spare the city park.
The spokesman for the Citizens Corridor Committee is Dean Wilson. After the presentation, he said, "It's pretty much confirmed what I thought all along. It has to go through Woolmarket."
If the final design goes to Woolmarket, the road will run right past Charlene Creel's home. "We need a corridor," Creel said. "We need a north south corridor, and where it has to go is where it's going to go."
It will be several more months before MDOT decides exactly where Biloxi's north south road should cross the back bay. Actual construction is still years away.
On Aug. 30th, M-DOT will hold a public hearing at the coliseum convention center. It will be your last chance to comment on the latest north south proposals through Biloxi.