Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway says his administration is making progress in building new roads to handle the ever increasing traffic along the coast.
Thursday's state of the city speech provided an update for ongoing road projects like the planned widening of Bayview Avenue and Caillavet Street. Mayor Holloway also talked about revitalizing East Biloxi, updating the zoning laws and building new recreation facilities.
But the main focus was on building roads and moving traffic.
Traffic continues to build along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. But Biloxi's mayor says such transportation troubles are expected growing pains.
"The traffic is always going to be a concern and a problem. And if traffic is not a problem, then we have bigger problems," Mayor Holloway said.
Two major road widening projects are part of the plan for relieving traffic congestion. Construction work on Caillavet Street is still a year away.
"We're going to relocate a few businesses in the next several months. And our goal is to begin construction the first quarter of next year," Holloway said.
Roadwork on Bayview Avenue will get started much sooner. Work on widening Bayview between Oak and Braun Streets should begin this spring.
"In fact, I pledge to you today that we'll begin construction on Bayview Avenue in April."
Helping revitalize neighborhoods in East Biloxi is another plan the mayor is pushing. The city is working with a consultant to develop a specific plan for improving the area around Main Street.
"You must improve the quality of the neighborhoods. You must create affordable housing. You must create the economic power in order to attract commercial endeavors to East Biloxi," Holloway said.
The mayor joked about his fiscal conservatism, but made no apologies for the way he budgets money. After all, he reminded the crowd, revenue projections this fiscal year are right on track.
Part of the city spending will go toward recreation, like completing the $10 million sports complex off Popps Ferry Road.
"We'll have five softball fields, eight to ten tennis courts, four to six soccer fields and we're looking for maybe four little league fields," the mayor said.
Despite ongoing concerns like keeping traffic moving, Mayor Holloway assured Biloxians nothing will slow down progress in their city.