Sand Beach crews are spring cleaning. All the blowing and digging is part of an ongoing effort to restore the popular attraction for the upcoming summer season.
"It's a positive sign of what's to come. More people wanting to come down and enjoy themselves at the beach. So, we're trying to accommodate that need," said sand beach director Bobby Weaver.
While more sections of sand will soon open, work on the broken boardwalk won't likely start until late summer. The idea is to replace the splintered wood with a concrete walkway.
"That's our intent. We've run some preliminary numbers and it looks like we can probably do the concrete within the framework of the funds that were available for the repair," Weaver explained.
"The seagulls, the sand and the kids. It's pretty good," said Larry Howe-Kerr, who brought his family to the beach in Biloxi.
They're visiting from Colorado. He grew up on the Point and considers the beach a true treasure.
"And there's an opportunity now for the coast to make it even better. Try to seize the opportunity to redeem what happened you know. So yeah, some effort ought to be put into it," said Howe-Kerr.
One beach improvement project in the works involves the storm drain culverts, often mistaken by tourists as sewer pipes. The pilot program will involve building piers on top of those pipes, to conceal the culverts.
There are 177 such drain pipes. The project to conceal will first be tested with one or two.
"Let's go ahead and look at some designs, alternative use of materials. And come up with something that would be acceptable. And with the balance of the funds, maybe do one or two and see how they work out," said Weaver.
These are the sections of sand that will reopen to the public beginning Friday, March 30th:
- Long Beach: Espy Avenue to Trautman Avenue; Cleveland Avenue to Broad Avenue
- Gulfport: 36th Avenue to Island View Hotel; 20th Avenue to Old Gulfport VA
- Biloxi: Debuys Road to Mississippi Coast Coliseum; Rodenburg Avenue to Oak Street