Hancock Co. supervisors announce major repaving project

By Al Showers - bio | email

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - "They are pretty bad. The car vibrates, jars everything loose when you're driving down the road," Waveland resident Ken Poore said. "The roads have been in need of repair for quite a while."

But relief is on the way for drivers like Poore who've spent the last three years driving on pothole riddled roads. Friday, county supervisors announced the first phase of a major repaving project. The $5.3 million project will pay for repairing and paving 40 miles of roadways damaged by Hurricane Katrina, and the heavy equipment that followed her.

"You had direct storm damage, which were the roads that flooded, which was almost the entire south part of the county. And when those roads were inundated with anywhere from 10 to 25, 28 feet of water, it destroyed the road base in a lot of cases. And as soon as the water receded and the debris clean-up started, the roads just got torn up by heavy trucks, traffic," Hancock County Engineer Geoffrey Clemens said.

Once all three phases have been completed, 400 of the 600 roadways in the county will be repaired and repaved.

District 1 Supervisor David Yarbrough said, "It all goes back to the road base that was damaged. If you overlay it, you're not doing any good unless you fix what's underneath. This is really the way to go. It's been a long time coming, but it's going to be better in the long run."

"If you see your neighbor's road paved and yours doesn't, don't give up hope. More than likely, it's going to get paved," Clemens said.

Clemens said the way the roads were evaluated means streets near each other may not be worked on in the same phase.

Work on the first 120 roadways is scheduled to start next month. The first phase of the project should take about nine months to complete. Phases two and three are expected to begin later this year or early next year. FEMA is funding the entire project.