Street Lights Coming To Highway 90 Gulfport - - The News for South Mississippi

Street Lights Coming To Highway 90 Gulfport

Planting new trees adds a nice touch to the medians along Highway 90 in Gulfport.  All that planting is an M-DOT project.

But 21 months after Katrina, there's still no sign of new Highway 90 street lights in Gulfport.

"Oh, it's frustrating it's taking so long," says Mayor Warr, who admits he gets asked about the street lights all the time.

The mayor says it's not only frustrating, it's complicated. The city didn't have enough insurance coverage to replace all the street lights Katrina claimed. But it plans to parlay that insurance money into something bigger.

"We took that insurance money and we worked out a deal with the Federal Highway Administration and the Department of Transportation to do a much finer product. So, we're going to take about a $300,000 insurance policy and end up with about a $2.5 million lighting product.

Highway 90 lights returned to Biloxi months ago. And Biloxi is adding even more: a million dollar project will place new poles between White Avenue and St. George and between Rodenberg and the coliseum.

Gulfport's lights will be different.

"It's a new pole design in keeping with the improvements that we're doing on the beach front. It will be an ornamental, like a wrought iron fluted type of light product. What you see in some of your nicer cities," said the mayor.

Mayor Warr says his city could have gone with the standard light fixtures, like Biloxi. The project would have been quicker and cheaper. But the mayor says the decision to go with the decorative fixtures instead is more than a case of looking pretty.

Like the new trees, Warr sees the lights as an economic development issue, portraying a city's image. As for any street-light envy as he looks toward Biloxi, forget it.

"Well, they have a lot of street lights up. I'm proud of them for getting them up so quick. I'm not envious. I think ours are going to look really nice," said the mayor.

Bids on the Gulfport lighting project are due this Tuesday. Mayor Warr says initial construction should begin in about 60 days.

By Steve Phillips

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