Plans moving forward to make waterfront park a recreational showcase

Updated: Mar. 24, 2017 at 9:50 PM CDT
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Progress is being made on a plan to make Popps Ferry Causeway Park a family attraction.

Preparations are underway to begin work on major improvements on the Biloxi waterfront property.

"A 40-year vision is going to become a reality," said Biloxi Public Affairs Manager Vincent Creel.

The reality Creel talked about includes turning the 10 acres next to the Popps Ferry Bridge into a place to showcase the nature of South Mississippi.

"We're going to have a botanical garden out here, an environmental center, a bait shop, and it is going to be a true recreational area," Creel said.

Next week, the Biloxi City Council is scheduled to vote on adjustments to the Tidelands lease for the property. Creel says once that step is taken, construction can begin.

He expects work to begin in the next two weeks.

"Anytime we go to do something on the waterfront there is an issue with the tidelands lease. We're having that right now with Margaritaville, the boat to Ship Island," said Creel. "We believe we've worked it out here at Popps Ferry where we can move forward."

The City of Biloxi originally purchased the property for $600,000. Now, $4 million in BP funding is making it possible for the project to get the green light.

"We've done some incremental work along the way, but we never had the money until Gov. Phil Bryant came along and said, 'You've got a project that I think is great, and we're going to steer $4.2 million towards that project,'" Creel said.

The plan calls for the park improvements to take one year.

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