A major drainage project is underway in Gulfport, and a company that now is up and running in the city is behind the project. Future Pipe was just two weeks away from opening a branch in Gulfport when Katrina struck. The company managed to open in 2006, and now employs 250 people locally.
Workers laid the first pipe just north of Creosote Road in Gulfport. This is the first phase of a project underway to help ease flooding problems in the area.
"It's going to help a lot from a traffic standpoint in this area. It's very congested. It's also a very important drainage project," said Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr.
"We're very proud to install our first pipe in our backyard. This is a 66 inch pipe that we manufacture just across the Seaway, and we're putting it in the ground for the city of Gulfport," said Mazen Turk, Vice President of Business Development for Future Pipe.
Monday marked the first pipe Future Pipe has installed on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The company managed to open its Gulfport plant in February of 2006, despite obstacles from the storm.
"The Gulfport plant was scheduled to open two weeks before Katrina, but we had a setback. We rebuilt our plant. We rebuilt our machines, and we came back strong," Turk said.
Turk says the project is being done with state of the art technology.
And this is just the beginning.
"We have plans to expand the Gulfport facility, and we're very aggressively looking at the U.S. market," Turk said.