Bay leaders aim to make road work more tolerable

By Al Showers - bio | email

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - The road and drainage overhaul in Bay St. Louis has created huge traffic trouble for drivers. Many say they're getting tired of dodging cones and never know when certain roads are going to be closed.

"It's confusing, it's trying. You can't keep your car clean," downtown merchant Ann Kearney said.

Bay St. Louis resident Steven Kinney agrees.

"It's muddy, it's dusty. It's very hard on your vehicles," Kinney said.

The people who travel the roads on a daily basis know how tough maneuvering in the construction zones can be.

"You have to add 20 or 30 minutes extra to your travel time to figure out which way is going to work today," Kearney said.

"I think the big problem is you really don't know what's open and what's closed," Kinney said.

City leaders know just how bad the situation is, and city work crews and public safety personal are dealing with it too.

"At the very beginning, we had anticipated that we were going to be able to have a little bit more control and have limited closures to minimize for both the motorists as well as the residents and the businesses. And unfortunately, over the past few weeks, I can't say it's gotten out of hand, but it's worse than anticipated," Mayor Eddie Favre said.

Mayor Favre says the water, sewer and gas work has reached its peak of construction in the downtown area.

"We basically now have three separate contracts all coming together, it seems like, in one area," Favre said. "What we intend to do is work with all three contractors to work a workable schedule coordinating the efforts between all three of the contractors."

Besides better coordination, the mayor says the city needs better communication. So drivers can expect to see flyers and notices in the media explaining the detours and road closings more clearly.

The work is far from over. City leaders say there's at least another year and a half to go. Streets in the Cedar Point neighborhood are scheduled to be torn up next.