All Four Lanes Of Saint Louis Bay Bridge Now Open

By nightfall Friday, traffic was moving steadily in all four lanes of the St. Louis Bay Bridge .

As Hancock County continues to rebuild, Tish Williams of the Chamber of Commerce says the lane openings are a sign of good things to come, especially for local businesses.

But, even before the additional lanes opened, Williams says stores were ringing up more sales.

"Our businesses reported  that they saw a significant increase in their business so adding additional lanes is another opportunity to invite people from all across the coast," said Williams.

Deborah Kennedy of Deborah Kennedy Designs, a jewelry boutique off Main Street in Bay St. Louis says she's one of those businesses who benefited.

"We've seen a huge increase in business, and most importantly, it's been from people here.  A lot of people from Ocean Springs and Biloxi are coming," said Kennedy.

Kennedy says people are also coming from Mobile and Pensacola to shop in Bay St. Louis.  But, she says the St. Louis Bay Bridge isn't the only bridge to thank for more traffic.

"They're wanting to come across both bridges now so even with that bridge opening (Biloxi-Bay bridge) we've seen an increase in traffic," said Kennedy.

Next door, Kay Gough of Bay Books, says she believes with warmer weather and all lanes open business will definitely increase.

"As we get into the spring, people are going to find themselves coming back to Bay St. Louis and enjoying the quaintness they've always found here," said Gough.

Now that all four lanes are open, leaders hope people will have an easier time coming over to spend their time and money in Hancock County.