Postal workers in Pascagoula have a new reason to smile. That's because their route to a new building has just begun.
Breaking ground on this old parking lot is the first step in the process. Postal Operations manager Michael Bertucci says they'll take advantage of this three day weekend to move their current operations.
"We'll set it up to move on Saturday, do the actual move on Sunday. That will give us Monday to set up our electrical equipment and window units to make sure everything is back up and running to be ready to open on Tuesday," Bertucci says.
The work in progress is high priority to many residents, as they wait in cramped lines.
"It's usually congested. There's quite a few folks in a line. The space they have back there they can probably only have two working behind the counter," Pascagoula resident Melton Harris says.
Right now the post office holds about 2000 mailboxes, which is only a fraction of the normal amount. With the new facility, the post office can get back to serving the entire community. Which means that everyone who needs a box, will have one.
"It's a vital part of the community. We realize that at the post office, and we're doing everything in our power to get it back to normal," Bertucci says.
Bertucci says demolition should begin in April, and within a year, you can plan to see a new post office that matches the look of Pascagoula, paired with brand new technology. By summer 2008, tight quarters, long lines, and trailer operations should be a thing of the past.
"It was disrupting not to be in a building. But we're going to take care of that," Bertucci says.
Pass Christian and Pascagoula are the only cities on the coast that still have trailer-bound post offices. Bertucci says plans are still in the works for the facility in the Pass, but it will be rebuilt.
As a reminder, post offices across the coast will close at noon on Saturday, and will remain closed through Monday, to observe President's Day.