BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) -Following a two-year halt, work on new water and sewer lines near the Biloxi City Cemetery resumed on Wednesday.
In April 2018, the post-Katrina project had barely begun when worked was forced to stop after crews discovered unknown graves close to Highway 90, right in the path of the new lines.
“We believe the cemetery went much closer to the water. We think there was a number of unmarked graves there and we’re trying to be sensitive to that," said Biloxi Public Affairs Manager, Vincent Creel.
The 16-inch water and sewer pipes will be placed 12 feet underground. That’s almost four feet deeper than usual. “In respect to the remains, we’re going under the remains. They’re going to be digging a tunnel— a small tunnel— about twelve feet below the ground where we can put the water lines. There’s going to be some additional work required, some additional time is going to be required,” said Creel.
Creel explained that the city of Biloxi is 300 years old. And when it comes to digging underground, it’s uncertain what someone may find. If something is discovered, Creel encourages everyone to be respectful.
The city has worked with FEMA, MDOT, and even archaeologists to develop a new plan.
The lane closest to the north of Highway 90 between Azalea Drive and Caldwell Avenue will be closed for the remainder of May and the lane closure will allow contractors to install the pipes. This project is apart of a $25 million project that will run eight miles long from Hopkins Boulevard to Seashore Methodist.