Harrison County Developing Plans To Rebuild Beach Boardwalk

When it comes to the Boardwalk, Harrison County Sand Beach Department Director Bobby Weaver sees the glass as half full.

"At least over 50 percent of the boardwalk remained intact," says Weaver.

Within a week, he plans to begin mitigation talks with FEMA representatives to secure funding to repair the segments that didn't survive Katrina's fury.

"That's one avenue we're looking at," says Weaver. "There's another avenue - the Corps of Engineers are looking at it as a possible Corps project."

Any repair work will depend on funding, but Weaver says if those funding sources agree, he has some alterations in mind for the boardwalk. He hopes to turn what some residents say was a battering ram during Katrina, into more of a barrier.

"We're looking at putting in a vertical wall immediately under the boardwalk. And that kind of retains the sand and everything that's underneath the boardwalk and not allow that uplift to get under the boards and lift the timbers and things of that nature."

That, says Weaver, would also help prevent the wind erosion that pushes so much sand onto Highway 90. A money saver in the long run, but a big money issue for right now.

"We have to have the money up front. And then upon completion of a segment, we'll make payment, and then we'll submit a request for reimbursement."

The boardwalk was completed just one month before Katrina struck at a total cost of approximately $10 million.