Construction Of New Harrison Co. Concrete Boardwalk Underway

By Don Culpepper - bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - There are more signs of progress in the rebuilding of our beach front. The boardwalk project has reached Gulfport where crews are pulling up the broken boards Katrina left behind. In Pass Christian, crews are already pouring the cement for the new walkway.

Sand Beach Director Bobby Weaver has been waiting to see this happen for a long time.

"It's encouraging, isn't it? Yeah, it's nice," Weaver said. "What we have going on behind us is the actual removal of the timber. The first phase of it, they have 75 days to get it all out, and they're probably about 50 percent complete. The area in the west part of the county is where the actual construction of the new concrete structure is coming back."

The project is set to be finished by December of 2009. Once that happens, Weaver said everyone, including those with disabilities, will find getting up and down the beach a whole lot easier.

"There's a sidewalk that's interconnecting along the sections of boardwalk. So for the most part, from bridge to bridge, there's going to be some type of a walking path that you can walk on."

Weaver said the new construction will be stronger than the old wooden boardwalk it's replacing. And that's a welcomed sight to home and business owners ready to see this lingering reminder of Katrina's legacy gone for good.

"It's been an eyesore, and it's been something that we didn't want to have here any longer than absolutely necessary. But the circumstances of the process, we had to leave it here until we got the final decision to proceed with the concrete. But there is a lot of excitement that this walkway is coming back, number one. And number two, that it's coming back in a concrete form. And it kind of takes away that fear that people have about the timber breaking loose in another storm, so we've pretty much put that issue to rest."

The project is being paid for with funds from FEMA.