Muddy Main Street Means Repairs Are Underway In Bay St. Louis

Construction cones, muddy pot holes, and exposed gas lines. It's enough to make many drivers avoid Main Street in Bay St. Louis.

"I just don't want to damage my vehicle and mess it up," Bay resident Ernest Saucier said.

The shop owners in the 100 block of Main Street know they are losing customers who feel the same way.

"The road construction in and of itself has slowed down drive by traffic. I feel like we're probably not getting the volume of snow birds that we would be getting without it. But on the flip side, this is a necessary evil," shop owner Pam Collins said.

She says the road to recovery starts here, and downtown merchants have tried to prepare for the inconveniences.

Shop owner Mickey Evans said, "We've made signs directing people to go up Court Street to park. Then they can come through the back way and come to the shops here on Main Street. It's only taking you one block out of your way."

"Our local support has kept us going. They know the ways around," Collins said.

Construction work on Main Street has been underway for more than a month now. Merchants say if it has to happen, now is the best time. January and February are typically their slowest times of the year. And they say the company doing the work, Utah Construction, has made it as painless as possible.

"Their workers are very professional, courteous. They keep us informed, we've had no surprises," Collins said.

Collins and others say they look forward to the day when the project is completed.

"The rewards on the end are going to be so much greater than what are having to suffer through now."

The work on Main Street is expected to be finished in about two months.